Widening the cracks: A spotlight on Italy during the pandemic

COVID-19 has exacerbated gender gaps which existed before the crisis.

The author(s)
  • Chiara Ferrari Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Italy
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ISTAT, the Italian National Statistics Bureau is projecting a -14.3% decrease in Italy’s GDP in the aftermath of the pandemic. However, there is some confidence indexes showing a slight rebound towards a more positive outlook.

Italy faces challenges on a variety of issues which will further hinder the slow progress it’s made against some of the key points of the SGD’s 2030 agenda, such as:

  • Occupational hazards are much higher for women than men, in a country already plagued by one of the lowest female employment rates in Europe (53.8% vs an average of 67.4% of the EU). Recent estimates show more than 400,000 women lost their jobs because of the pandemic and that 70% of those returning to work after the end of the lockdown period were men.
  • An Ipsos survey conducted at the end of the lockdown period – end of May – showed that women were taking on a greater responsibility in the caregiving of children and the elderly during the pandemic and would continue to do so after the re-opening.
  • A poll conducted during the month of August on behalf of Save the Children shows that six pupils in 10 aged 5+, have suffered learning troubles during the second term of the most recent school year, when schools were closed. Almost one in five (18%) of parents are convinced that there will be gaps in education when the children return to school.

The funds from the Recovery Plan launched by the European Commission, in excess of €200 billion for Italy, will require a careful planning for their spending, possibly looking at long-term reforms which support – amongst others – the closure of the above-listed gaps.

The author(s)
  • Chiara Ferrari Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Italy