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Corona and women

Article: Limor Shupman Gutman, chairman of the ProWoman association

The Corona period floods more strongly, raises above the surface, existing problems, fears, patterns of behavior, both ours as individuals and collectively.

Thus, during the Corona period, we discovered that a team was established by the National Security Council (NSC) for the purpose of managing the Corona crisis, one of the most complex crises humanity has faced since World War II, but this team did not initially include any women (except for one research assistant). Following a petition to the High Court and the establishment of the new government, a new Corona committee was established consisting of nine professional women and four men led by Dr. Nitsa Kasir. However, not much time passed and it seems that this committee is not dealing with the management of the Corona crisis and in the meantime we have been informed of the establishment of a Corona cabinet which includes ten. .. men. Not this one either, the chairman of the Corona Committee, MK Yifat Shasha Biton, who bravely came out against decisions that are not based on data, was fired from her position.

A large part of the people has lost faith in our leadership. We are living in a period of difficult uncertainty for all of humanity where leadership is required that sees the difficulties and pain of our citizens who are faced with fear of survival, with loneliness that stems from social distance, with fear of uncertainty and with anxiety about the economic consequences. A leader who sees the difficulties, communicates with all of us openly, honestly and transparently, sets a personal example and instills confidence that she works in cooperation in order to produce the best solutions for all the tremendous difficulties that have arisen in this complex and not simple period. This is how the Prime Minister of New Zealand behaved, for example, and the result was an optimal handling of the first wave and the absence of corona cases in New Zealand. In other countries in the world led by leaders, the coping is optimal.

The absence of women in the management teams of the Corona crisis is a mirror image of the situation in Israel with regard to the presence of women at points of influence, management and leadership: a minority of women in the government (in the extended government that includes 34 ministers, only 8 are women), a minority of Knesset members, a minority of women in cabinet committees and government offices, a minority Women mayors, a minority of women managers in local government, a minority of women on boards, a minority of women managers in the public and private sectors.

This is the situation!

It existed even before the Corona period, but this period, which provokes personal and collective soul-searching and requires complex management of all areas of life and providing a response to all populations, has presented us with a clear mirror. See that society misses the tremendous abilities of women to manage, to lead, to see a full and diverse picture, to shape our present and future as those that take into account and respond to all factors: health (physical and emotional), financial situation, personal well-being, social well-being, well-being of all humanity and of the environment, security, innovation, creativity, development and growth, accepting the other and accepting different opinions as a substitute for cycles of hatred, terror and war that bring with them pain and suffering, a sense of belonging, success and value, self-fulfillment and collective fulfillment.

Precisely in this period we need these abilities of women in order to optimally deal with this complex crisis.

This period gives rise to enormous difficulties. The consequences of the corona virus are affecting many businesses and many employees, and there are entire industries that are severely affected and are busy with economic survival. The young people fear their financial future. Adults are faced with severe damage to the value of the pension and provident funds. The injury is a serious injury to both men and women, but according to published data, the proportion of women who were put on sick leave or fired during the Corona period significantly exceeds the proportion of employed men who were injured.

The Corona period also flooded the difficulties in the labor market in the 21st century - precisely the lockdown in homes and the pause flooded the fact that on normal days the labor market is characterized in many cases by very long working hours, intensity, demands, continuous pressure, the lack of separation between work and home as a result of technology that allows for ongoing connection and Always available. These effects are relevant to both men and women, but at a time when most women still carry the burden of raising children and managing the home and family, the result is that women have to deal more strongly with having two demanding careers: the career in the labor market and the career at home. As a result, many women compromise along the way and do not fulfill their full potential in the labor market. During the Corona period when there are no organized frameworks for children, the need arose to provide them with an answer and in many cases women took on this task, at the same time as their work and even took a leave of absence or gave up their work to take care of the children.

So much for the sad picture of the situation as of today. Every crisis is an opportunity for growth and I want to focus on the opportunities that the Corona period creates for a radical and significant change that will improve the lives of all of us. And this is the place to say, such a change will serve all of us, women and men, and therefore it is a change that should be carried out in a joint effort and out of a common interest.

I will start from the personal circle, this period is an opportunity for each and every one to stop and examine how satisfied we are in each of the areas of our lives and regarding the balance between them - career and work, relationship, family, relationships, personal well-being, sports and nutrition, contribution to the community and society, hobbies and leisure activities. This is the opportunity to create change in any area we identify dissatisfaction with. In addition, it is very important to identify internal and environmental barriers and to develop a sense of self-worth and capabilities through personal and/or group processes.

In the family circle, this period is an opportunity for an open discussion about the division of roles in the family unit. Taking care of the children and nurturing the family unit and the home is not the role of the woman, but the role and right of both spouses and even the children. The division should be such that allows both spouses to fulfill themselves and enjoy a balance between the different areas of life. It is desirable that each of the spouses and the family take on roles that they enjoy performing.

In the workplace, the corona period created an acceleration in the use of online means. Being at home, we learned to work, provide services, conduct meetings, conduct conferences and workshops using online applications. We discovered that it is possible to work effectively from home as well and this created a tremendous opportunity. An opportunity to allow employees, men and women, in an equal way, to work part of the days of the week from home. Many companies and organizations do this these days. The result will be

win win for employees and employers. The workers will be able to improve the balance in their lives between work and home, save hours traveling to work, see their family members more, there will be some relief from the pressure and intensity that exact a high price, men will be able to spend more time with their children and the spouses will share the household tasks, which will also allow women to exercise their full potential and create great value in workplaces, businesses and society. The employers will save on the costs of rent, fixed overheads, travel, parking and more and will enjoy a higher productivity of satisfied employees. This will also contribute to the significant problem of job burnout and losing excellent employees who experience burnout.

In addition, it is important that there be a dialogue in organizations, in the private and public sector, regarding the ways to enable women to realize their full potential in organizations, as workers and managers and leaders. Identify the barriers and outline ways to create change. An organization whose employees realize their full potential is an organization that will achieve tremendous achievements. And realize his full potential!

Finally, to all that we need to add a change in the collective consciousness that it is in the interest of all of us to have equal opportunities for women and men that will allow a balance between the areas of life for both women and men, it is in the interest of all of us that women (together with men) manage the Corona crisis, which affects all areas of our lives and all the populations, in an optimal manner and in the manner in which optimal solutions will be implemented and the interest of all of us to benefit from the tremendous value that women produce in every field of endeavor.

This period produces an acceleration in the processes and therefore it is also an opportunity for a breakthrough and a significant change.

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