Are Women Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19Job Loss?
My presentation on this topic was given at the virtual GIS Day annual conference on November 17, 2021.
GIS Day is an annual worldwide celebration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and community.
GIS Day 2021 Virtual Conference
November 17, 2021
Organized by Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia Libraries
It has been suggested that among global cities, Vancouver’s spatial mismatch is unique. In addition to being transnational and Indigenous in scope, this striking disconnect between low-income housing and adequate employment opportunities is characterized by large numbers of working poor—primarily women—with inadequate access to educational opportunities and well-paid jobs (Sassen, 1991). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the social stressors of living and working in Vancouver have been further compounded due to pandemic-related job losses. Moreover, few affordable rental units remain available. With the neoliberal global deindustrialization shift to service-dominated employment, women on the front lines of the service industry have very likely ended up being the most affected. However, to date there has been scant research into the long-term social effects of women’s job and income losses vis-à-vis their mobility (i.e., evictions or forced moves). In the present study, a small subset of the retail sector—Vancouver’s working poor women—is examined to explore in real time income/eviction data and thereby demonstrate that these women were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 job losses. These qualitative interviews will capitalize on the knowledge and experience of the targeted communities’ inhabitants as they contribute various pieces of information to the spatial mismatch discourse and in the process render it comprehensive. Gaining such reliable data from immigrant women is critical if we want to turn the tide and create adequate wage employment and more socially responsible housing in Vancouver, the second least-affordable city in the world after Hong Kong.
Sassen, S. (1991). The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. (Core Textbook ed.). Princeton University Press