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How COVID-19 pandemic worsens the economic situation of women in South Africa

Abstract

To contribute towards addressing the problem of relatively few general equilibrium studies focusing on gender impacts of disease pandemics, this paper uses a gendered Computable General Equilibrium model linked to a microsimulation model to study the short run economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. A mild and severe scenario is run to represent the pandemic. Findings suggest that while COVID-19 leads to negative economic effects irrespective of scenario, female-headed households bear a disproportionately higher burden of the brunt. Because women tend to be more concentrated in employment in sectors that are hurt the most by COVID-19 response measures as well as that they predominate in unskilled categories, the simulation results show that women suffer disproportionately more from higher unemployment than their male counterparts though the differences are not as pronounced. The poverty outcomes show worsened vulnerability for female-headed households given that, even prior to the pandemic, poverty was already higher amongst women. These results are important in informing evidence-based responses by government to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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hal-02976171 , version 1 (23-10-2020)

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Margaret Chitiga, Martin Henseler, Ramos E Mabugu, Hélène Maisonnave. How COVID-19 pandemic worsens the economic situation of women in South Africa. 2020. ⟨hal-02976171⟩
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