Covid-19 fight in Brazil is a women’s struggle

women nurses covid-19
Photo: MillaF/Shutterstock

According to a report by the Brazilian Federal Nursing Council (Cofen) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, 85 percent of all nurses and nursing assistants in the country are women. According to Cofen’s Deputy Chairwoman Nádia Mattos Ramalho, women are being worse affected by the pandemic than men in Brazil. “Not only for being at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19, but also for being held responsible for their households.”

There exists a significant gender-based wage gap in the healthcare sector in Brazil. A study published in 2019 by medical journal BMJ Open shows that almost 80 percent of female healthcare workers are concentrated in the three lowest wage categories, while 51 percent of men are in the three highest categories. According to UN Women, female healthcare workers earn 11 percent less than male counterparts.