WIDE+ member GADIP in Sweden has published their report: “The Gendered effects of Covid-19 and Challenges Facing the Women-dominated Health Workforce”. It concludes among others the structural problems confronting the Swedish healthcare sector demand reforms that require being built up over time. This report also demonstrates that the role of gender, class and ethnicity pose urgent challenges for policy makers to attend to.
Through an examination of the working conditions for nurses, assistant nurses and care assistants, this report elucidates the disproportionate role women play in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges as well as risks they incur. Although it is difficult to get a clear and nuanced overview of the situation since the crisis is seemingly far from over and since various data is still lacking, what may be ascertained is that the Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the healthcare landscape and placed additional burden on healthcare staff facing heavier workloads, PPE shortages and increased physical and mental strain.
An important aspect to draw from this report is the necessity of acknowledging the difficult and tremendously valuable work performed by health workers during the current pandemic, but the individualized narratives that on the one hand labels health workers “heroes”, yet on the other hand imposes guilt upon them (especially upon foreign-born health workers) calls for interrogation.
Furthermore, the intersectional burdens exacerbated by Covid-19 highlighted in this report stresses the political awareness needed to deal adequately with inequalities in the current pandemic crisis as well as in future crisis scenarios.
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