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Forget blokes with shovels, shouldn’t stimulus go to nurses and teachers?

3 16 177
30.06.2020

There’s a direct line that runs from the harassment allegations against a retired high court judge and the emergency ward of the local hospital that bears scrutiny.

It starts with an elite profession charged with enforcing the law, where women routinely feel compelled to endure the unwanted attentions of powerful men, and wends its way through the economy and our broader society by devaluing the caring professions.

It’s a thread that seems invisible to half the population but is glaringly obvious to the other. As such it threatens to trip and entangle those who can’t see it while having the potential to weave something transformative for those who do.

And like so much of our world in the context of the pandemic, we may be at a moment of recalibration. Because results in this week’s Guardian Essential report suggest the community is ready to start acknowledging the value of work in professions where women dominate.

After experiencing up close and personal the work of teachers and seeing the way nurses were deployed to the frontline of the health crisis, there is strong support – across the partisan divide – for increasing the wages for these professionals.

In stark contrast, next to no one believes that lawyers and bankers need additional largesse. Indeed, they believe their contribution to society is overvalued.

These findings are telling as we ponder pandemic economics, which some have dubbed the “pink recession” as the sting in the shutdown hits the tourism, hospitality, service and retails........

© The Guardian