Rabobank: corona crisis hits women harder than men

Rabobank has concluded this in a study among 10,000 Dutch people into the economic and social consequences of the corona crisis. The bank uses the so-called Broad Welfare Indicator (BWI), which looks further than just salary and work (see box).

Follow-up research needed

The researchers saw a decrease in women on eight of the eleven sub-indicators compared to last year, while men only decreased on two points. The researchers do not dare to make firm statements about the causes of the large differences, because they believe that more research is needed.

They do, however, refer to earlier research by the Social Cultural Planning Office (SCP) that shows that women experience more friction in society during corona than men. “This appears to be consistent with our finding that women’s civic engagement has deteriorated and that men have not.”

Poorer health

Reference is also made to research by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and the universities of Nijmegen and Utrecht. This shows that men have more time for their children as a result of being forced to work from home and have therefore found a better balance between work and private life.

Broad Prosperity Indicator

The Broad Welfare Indicator (BWI) was developed in 2016 by Rabobank and Utrecht University. The indicator, which consists of eleven dimensions, looks beyond gross domestic product (GDP) alone.

In this way he gives a better picture of prosperity than just economic development.

  1. Subjective well-being
  2. Safety
  3. Personal development
  4. Housing
  5. Environment
  6. Health
  7. Income
  8. job security
  9. work-life balance
  10. Social contacts
  11. Social awareness

Both groups deteriorated in health. According to the researchers, this may have to do with the direct consequences of covid-19 (disease) as well as indirect ones, such as postponed operations in the hospital and closure of gyms and associations.

‘Corona support has worked’

Rabo researcher Sjoerd Hardeman says the increase in job security is particularly striking, because it worsened last year. “However, last spring’s unemployment increase did not continue,” says the economist. “In large part thanks to government support packages.”

The bank dares to draw the cautious conclusion that government support has kept the broad prosperity intact. Now that the caretaker government is slowly phasing out the measures, there is a chance that the general prosperity will still decline. The researchers do not yet dare to say whether this will actually happen.

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