Mary Robinson gives her insight on Europe’s biggest challenges


Пандемия коронавируса усугубила все неравенства: от экономического до гендерного разрыва. Бывший Верховный комиссар ООН по правам человека Мэри Робинсон предполагает, что в период кризиса значительно поплатились женщины, так как большинство из них были задействованы в наиболее пострадавших от локдауна секторах. Об этом и других вызовах, с которыми столкнулась Европа в 2021 году, Робинсон рассказывает в интервью Euronews

Mary Robinson is the former president of Ireland, the former U.N. High Commissioner for human rights and the current chair of the Elders. That’s a group of independent global leaders who were brought together back in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to work together for peace and human rights. Mary Robinson has had a long and prestigious career. She took the time to share some of her thoughts with Euronews on the COVID-19 pandemic, inequalities, migration, climate change and even Princess Latifah.

What would be the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dangerously widening gap between countries, populations and social classes?

Chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson:

«It’s very concerning, the Elders have been speaking a lot about the fact that Covid has exacerbated all of the inequalities, the inequalities of race, of gender, of having a disability of being marginalised, of being a migrant, being a refugee, all exacerbated. And it’s going to be difficult because, behind the COVID crisis, we have the climate crisis. So we have to recover from Covid in a way that’s also aligned with the need to reduce emissions. So it’s a very, very serious decade that we face now. And, you know, the inequalities are very, very real and people are hurting badly. And, you know, we will probably come to this but women, in particular, have been badly affected».

Studies show that women have taken on the lion’s share of caring and the lion’s share of childminding during the pandemic. It’s 2021 and women in Europe are still earning, on average, 14% less per hour than men with huge differences in EU member states. Why is it important to address this as soon as possible?

«It’s really important to address what the U.N. is now calling, what UN women are calling ‘generation equality’, and to do it, to mark the 25th anniversary of Beijing, which was actually last year but we are marking it this year with a particular focus. And it is true that women’s work has been recognised in health, in care, even in cleaning hospitals. Low-paid jobs that we now appreciate more because they’ve kept places open that otherwise wouldn’t be open. And yet women are also disproportionately unemployed, either because they’re in sectors like hospitality, retail, that are particularly affected by COVID, or as you said, they carry more of the care burden and may have had to withdraw from the workforce because of home schooling or caring for the elderly and so on».

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