COVID-19 pandemic and the gender divide at work and home

Publication date
Sanna Nivakoski, Ximena Calò, Letizia Mencarini, Paola Profeta


The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated inequalities in many dimensions of European societies, including inequalities between women and men in several key domains. This report looks at gender inequalities that existed prior to the COVID-19 crisis and describes in what ways the pandemic has impacted on gender divides. It also analyses the various policy responses of national governments across the EU to address gender divides, and to prevent their widening during the pandemic. The effects of the pandemic on employment at EU-level has been remarkably gender-neutral on the whole, with nuances emerging within different sectors and socioeconomic groups. The pre-existing gender gaps in unpaid work have persisted, leading to work–life conflicts, especially among teleworking mothers of young children. Finally, the report describes the outlook for gender inequalities in Europe, pointing to factors that will shape the future of equality between women and men: gender segregation in labour markets, gender divides in telework and hybrid work, and gender mainstreaming in policymaking – especially in relation to caregiving and care services.

Read the full report