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New evidence of gender inequality during COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East and North Africa
Department of Demography and Biostatistics, Faculty of Graduate Studies for Statistical Research, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
Department of Quantitative Analysis, College of Business Administration, King Saud University, P.O. Box 71115, Riyadh, 11587, Saudi Arabia.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Statistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0279-5305
Department of Applied Statistics and Econometrics, Faculty of Graduate Studies for Statistical Research, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
2023 (English)In: Heliyon, E-ISSN 2405-8440, Vol. 9, no 7, article id e17705Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered employment and income distribution, impacting women and men differently. This study investigates the negative effects of COVID-19 on the labour market, focusing on the gender gap in five countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The study indicates whether women are more susceptible to losing their jobs, either temporarily or permanently, switching their primary occupation, and experiencing decreased working hours and income compared to men during the COVID-19 outbreak. The study utilizes a multivariate Probit model to estimate the relationship between gender and adverse labour outcomes controlling for correlations among outcomes. Data are obtained from the Combined COVID-19 MENA Monitor Household Survey, covering Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Sudan. The findings of this study offer empirical evidence of the gender gap in labour market outcomes during the pandemic. Women are more likely than men to experience negative work outcomes, such as permanent job loss and change in their main job. The increased childcare and housework responsibilities have significantly impacted women's labour market outcomes during the pandemic. However, the availability of telework has reduced the likelihood of job loss among women. The study's results contribute to a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on gender inequality in understudied MENA countries. Mitigation policies should focus on supporting vulnerable women who have experienced disproportionate negative effects of COVID-19.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 9, no 7, article id e17705
Keywords [en]
Employment outcomes, Gender gap, Income reductions, Job loss, MENA region, Multivariate probit model
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-62118DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17705ISI: 001055540500001PubMedID: 37456038Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164028799Local ID: GOA;intsam;895949OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-62118DiVA, id: diva2:1788061
Available from: 2023-08-15 Created: 2023-08-15 Last updated: 2023-09-15Bibliographically approved

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