The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated digital transformation, unearthing new challenges for the achievement of gender equality in labour markets.
Digital technologies are widely perceived as a promising means to promote gender equality in education, the labour market, access to financing and healthcare, among others. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated digitalization processes in both services and manufacturing in most countries, albeit at varying speeds, triggered by the requirements for social distancing and other COVID-19-related regulations imposed by governments around the world, and by changing consumer demand throughout the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected women by exposing them to higher health risks and higher risk of becoming unemployed in addition to the burden of household and caregiving responsibilities during the lockdown. We explore some of the lessons learned about the impacts of the pandemic on gender equality and, more generally, in how far digital transformation can potentially benefit women.