June 12, 2021

women on the front line facing Covid-19

They were applauded, celebrated with great blows of saucepans struck with enthusiasm on the balconies of large housing estates or on the doors of houses. To say thank you for facing the most serious pandemic the country has seen in decades. First, the nursing staff, nurses and orderlies, women, because there are professions where this genre is essential. Those whom the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, from his speech of March 12, 2020, called, in a language more relevant to trench warfare, “The first line”. Then, in the second line, teachers, cashiers, farmers, social workers, garbage collectors, security and cleaning staff, etc.

The statistics are indisputable: women represent 86% of nursing / midwifery positions, 92% of nursing assistants, 77% of paramedical professions, 82% of cashiers / self-service employees, 97% of childminders or nurses. still 72% of cleaning agents, according to figures published in May 2021 by Dares, the Directorate for the Animation of Research, Studies and Statistics of the Ministry of Labor.

The closure of nurseries and schools has obviously had an impact on those who often have family chores.

And it is among these jobs that the majority of employees contaminated by the SARS-CoV-2 virus are found. “Women work more often in professions where working conditions have deteriorated further, which also went hand in hand with a deterioration in their health, both physical and mental: cooperation in the workplace, support from colleagues, staggered hours, workload, emotional intensity… While these working conditions have remained more or less stable in industry, construction or agriculture, sectors which are less feminized ”, analysis Mikael Beatriz, deputy head of the working conditions and health department at Dares.

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Isabelle Privé, teacher in a CE1 class in Bihorel (Seine-Maritime).  During the first confinement, when the school only welcomed the children of caregivers, she volunteered with the director to give the lessons, in addition to managing her usual remote class.  Here April 9, 2020.

In a survey called Tracov (conducted among 50,000 employees), 6% of women – against 4% of men – declare that they have been contaminated in their workplace.

Statistics, again, confirm this vulnerability of women to the pandemic. According to the Ministry of Labor, the use of partial activity in April 2021 recorded a strong increase in the trade sector: + 38%, with the closure of so-called “non-essential” businesses. In education, health and social action too, it has experienced a significant increase (+ 183% in one month). The closing of nurseries and schools has obviously had an impact on those which often fall to family tasks.

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