FEminists are right with many positions. There are too few female bosses in companies, authorities and universities. Caring work in society is carried out to a greater extent by women. The “Equal Care Day” initiative calculates that unpaid housekeeping, education and care for women add up to twelve billion hours every day. It is committed to ensuring that companies include this care work in their planning.
Business editor, responsible for “People and Business”.
Too few men grow into this role, for example by taking the rather generously cushioned parental leave over several months. Not only Germany is far from ideas of a world of equality between men and women in family work. Before the Corona crisis, this was clear from many studies and analyzes from science and politics.
Now Germany is experiencing perhaps the most challenging phase in post-war history through the pandemic. Economically, politically and socially, the weeks-long exit restrictions and school closings are an unprecedented burden.
An angry sound has come into the debate
Unemployment is rising, companies are battling impending bankruptcies, administrations have had to face difficult decisions to take, and families have had to replace school at home – while at the same time continuing to do their jobs, unless the state has given them more time to work solidly through short-time work had financial cushion.
The crisis affects everyone, but it is obvious that some social groups have been hit harder: low-earners, for example, or employees in the catering sector, where an above-average number of women work. Research institutes, foundations and chairs develop studies on this. This is helpful for understanding the effects of the corona crisis. They provide interesting results on the question of how women and men share care work, which – to be clear – is by no means alarming.
Nevertheless, a sound has come into the debate that is annoying. We are talking about a return to the 1950s, a “retraditionalization”, a role backwards and a rollback of gender roles. Scientists, unionist researchers and publicists, including my colleague Julia Schaaf in an article here 14 days ago, are helping to anchor this picture.
This is annoying because this picture has a major impact on our collective narrative about the great crisis we are about to master brilliantly. None of the studies that contribute to this picture are wrong. But also no statistics on the topic can be interpreted as a return to the 1950s – without having to provide ample help. The thesis does not do justice to the facts, what share of success women and men have. This is reason to bring a counter narrative into the discussion.