Inequality at the Center of World in Flux

How are Men’s gender roles and masculine norms impacting covid-19?

Equality

Written by: Kelly Fisher

12.10.2020

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PROMUNDO, is one the world’s leading organizations addressing gender equality by specifically engaging men.  Their research looks at how ideas of masculinity impact and interact with achieving gender equality.  Their research looks at everything from how movies portray men and men’s role in society, to looking at how men feel about gender equality around the world.  In a recent, timely, and important report PROMUNDO highlights the different ways masculinities are influencing the impacts of covid-19. 

The report explores why men currently represent 58% of COVID-19 deaths.  They point out that there could be different social factors and influences about masculine norms that emphasize toughness and stoicism that leads them to not follow guidelines to avoid infection.  

According to the report, even though both men and women are working from home now, many women are still taking on the majority of care work.  This has led to many women suffering in the workplace, and even some not returning to work.  It is important to recognize how masculinity and men’s ideas of masculine norms might lead them to be less involved in this care work.   

In the report recommendations are also outlined for policy makers.  These include the recording and publishing of sex-disaggregated data which also shows other factors including, race, disability, and sexuality, and make sure that healthcare systems are specifically engaging men related to physical and mental health, and many more as well.   

Gender equality will not be achieved unless men are specifically engaged, and the role of masculinity is analyzed further.  This report and how masculinity relates to covid-19 only further reinforces this point.