Wednesday, February 17, 2021
The Copenhagen Business School Tax Group hosts a Tax Colloquium today on Gender Equality Aspects Amid a Pandemic: Discussions on Tax Measures and Fiscal Policy:
The impact of COVID-19 is at the moment undeniably extensive as the world faces the most severe recession in nearly a century. Economic emergency programs, the design and implementation of COVID-19 tax policies and subsequent state aid actions have been launched in many countries to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Unlike previous economic recessions or financial crises, feminized sectors of the labor market, such as healthcare, education, care, retail, and client-facing services, which all are characterized by low-paid and multiple part-time jobs, seems to be hit the hardest by the pandemic. These sectors have, supported by emerging data, experienced higher job losses than traditionally male-dominated sectors and appears to be inadequately covered, by most financial state aid schemes at the moment.
Women have, in comparison to men, also reduced their hours of work to care for, and home school, children. Aggregating already existing problems associated to both the loss of paid work hours and to the gender-segregated allocation of unpaid hours for household work and caring. The sudden closure of childcare programs and schools in many countries has had a crucial impact for women whose labour force participation depends on these institutions. The possibility of several waves of the virus that could trigger additional childcare closures make it extremely likely that married women (in general when considering the current norm of heterosexual couples) in particular may be slower to re-enter the work force in the hope of protecting the (single-breadwinner) family income.
This seminar will discuss existing gender gaps within various domestic tax systems and national tax policies.
Even before the pandemic, domestic tax systems inherently worked against economic gender equality, despite impressive growth performances in many economies. Although most tax systems being utilizing a gender equal wording in its legislative texts, tax systems and fiscal policy decisions affect men and women differently when the legislative tax acts are factually applied. Therefore, many aspects of taxation have had an indirect but substantial effect on gender-related socioeconomic inequalities. These gender differences subsequently persist in not only employment rates but also general patterns and gender gaps in unpaid care work. As a result, employment rates, income, old age security, poverty and wealth are all closely linked to the allocative and distributional outcome of tax regulations.