The great shecession: how Covid-19 is holding women back

From endless caring duties to more frequent job losses to the decimation of entire female-heavy sectors, Covid has been extra-hard on working women. How can the damage be repaired?

Valerie Conlon lost her job when Debenhams in Cork shut down in the early days of the pandemic. Credit: John Allen

When Agnieszka returned to work in a busy Ranelagh restaurant last month, she was consumed with worry about Covid-19. The 30-something waitress is also a carer for her mother-in-law and felt she could easily catch the virus from indoor diners.

“I’m scared,” she said just before Christmas, speaking on the condition that a pseudonym be used. “I know the consequences will be bad if I bring [the virus] home.”

Like many other working women, Agnieszka ...