Challenges To Pursue a Career During the Pandemic

After more than a decade, education has once again been placed among the main themes of social and political debate.

The Woman Post | Keyla Alvarado

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In several countries, institutional reforms are underway aimed at achieving a more efficient and adequate system for global and local needs and demands; even more focused on the search for goals and procedures that commit all sectors of the community, according to a publication made by the technical coordinator of the National Equal Opportunity Program for Women in the Educational Area, Gloria Bonder, in the Ibero-American Journal of Education, called "Women and Education in Latin America: Towards Equal Opportunities."

Regional bodies such as ECLAC and many governments are beginning to reconsider the role that education must play in ensuring productive development with equity and thus ensuring access to a minimum standard of educational quality for all social sectors. The contents of education, teaching, and evaluation methodologies are under in-depth analysis, i.e. new societal problems such as environmental degradation, AIDS, urban and domestic violence, drugs, the marginalization of new social sectors, the transformation of the global political landscape, and the need for the formation of new citizenship, are on the current agendas of politicians and education planners.

That is why women face individual, social, economic, structural, and cultural difficulties, adding also that their merits often go unnoticed.

Individual Obstacles

Today, the fact that women want to work an ambitious career has already become normalized. However, the woman is still expected to play certain roles: becoming pregnant and taking greater responsibility for child care. This makes it difficult to participate in the labor market.

Economic, Structural, and Political Obstacles

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 2019 report, the gender pay gap reaches 22% in Latin America. In addition, a woman's average salary in urban areas is 89% in Latin America, of that for a man. In this sense, the current law does not promote equality between working women and men. For example, as regards motherhood, a woman is the only woman who must take maternity leave, if the law required both parents to take maternity leave; it would not be only women who give up their professional careers.

Social Obstacles

Great progress has been made regarding equality in recent decades and women have overcome some obstacles in the world of science. However, their achievements are not recognized in the same way, because of the lack of recognition in society, the lack of support on the part of institutions and cultural dynamics make the situation worse, even dependent on factors such as class, race or ethnicity, which could further exacerbate problems.


On the other hand, harassment is one of the most serious problems faced by a woman. Nevertheless, it is rarely reported, due to the negative consequences it can bring for your professional growth.

Cultural Obstacles

For many women, STEM careers, i.e. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, are less attractive, but perhaps it is because they are not encouraged to participate. On the contrary, other kinds of desires and professions are promoted among women: worrying about our image or taking care of others. That's why some professions such as aesthetics, nursing, or education are feminized.

Female Education in Latin America

In Latin America, there is a great polarization in which bags of illiteracy coexist with social sectors that have significantly increased their educational level in recent decades. The consequences of this phenomenon in terms of aspirations and social participation are a serious problem in relation to economic development and cultural modernization, as well as a sign of unsustainable injustice in this century, according to a publication by the technical coordinator of the National Equal Opportunities for Women Programme in the Educational Area, Gloria Bonder, in the Ibero-American Journal of Education, called "Women and Education in Latin America: Towards Equal Opportunities."

On the other hand, there is high inequality in digital connectivity. Economic status, age, and geographic location limit access to connectivity, and access gaps between higher and lower-income households are significant. In this way, access to digital platforms, such as telework, is not affordable for the entire population, according to data from ECLAC Regional Broadband Observatory (ORBA). That is why the Executive Secretary of ECLAC reported that the Commission is conducting specialized studies and reports on an analysis of the use of digital technologies in COVID-19 times, as well as a position paper on the digital landscape in the region. It is also organizing a high-technical dialogue with countries on the use of digital technologies in the face of the pandemic.

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