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Is the global economy sexist?
Answer: When 22 men make more money than all of the women in Africa, an Oxfam study says absolutely.
- Worldwide, women and girls contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy for care work that they are not paid for.
- Women around the globe do more than 75 percent of all unpaid care work.
- Women make up only 18 percent of cabinet ministers around the world and 24 percent of parliamentarians.
You may have heard the news that the richest 22 men in the world have more combined wealth than all 325 million women in Africa. This is according to a widely reported recent Oxfam study that highlighted how global economic inequality is intimately tied to gender and race.
Gender, division of labor, and pay
Source: Time to Care Report, Oxfam
Women and girls worldwide contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy that they are not paid for. They collectively spend 12.5 billion hours per day on unpaid care work. Care work includes occupations like child care, healthcare work, teaching, and domestic labor. Though this kind of work is often left out of national economic equations, the monetary value of it is triple the worth of the global tech industry, according to an Oxfam report. Women around the globe, particularly those who live in poverty, do more than 75% of all unpaid care work. Despite its social importance and economic value, this labor is persistently undervalued and taken for granted by governments and companies around the world.
It manifests in different ways. In the United States, teachers, nurses, child social workers, day care workers, and other "care" jobs, which have been historically dominated by women, are underpaid. Furthermore, on an average day, women in the U.S. spend nearly 40 percent more time on unpaid care, like household duties, than men. Zoom out to a global scale and these issues are magnified in less wealthy nations like Africa where women aren't paid at all for this work. They end up trapped in poverty, unable to get an education and achieve financial security. They are also barred from government positions in which they can influence social and economic policy.
Economic and political inequality
Though men around the world are certainly suffering under the widening income gap and facing poverty, there is clearly a systemic gender disparity when most billionaires are men and most of the people occupying the lowest paid or unpaid jobs are women. Globally, men own more than 50% more wealth than women, and they also control government and economic decisions that could fix this system. Women make up only 18% of cabinet ministers around the world and 24% of parliamentarians.
The result has been a global economy designed by men, for men, that undervalues work done primarily by women, and especially marginalized women in already economically disadvantaged nations.
"When 22 men have more wealth than all the women in Africa combined, it's clear that our economy is just plain sexist," Oxfam GB's chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah said.
He noted that if world leaders care about reducing poverty and inequality, they need to invest in public services like care that make life less grueling for people with care responsibilities and hold back women and girls. Yet, closing the growing wealth gap is not on the top of the agenda of most world leaders. In fact, many of them continue to facilitate policies that widen it, such as tax cuts for billionaires, cuts in public spending, and privatization.
We need solutions now
Source: Time to Care Report, Oxfam
What it boils down to is a gendered discrimination of values in which neoliberal economic values are prioritized above social values like education and healthcare. The Oxfam report warns that aging populations, cuts in public spending, and the climate crisis will exacerbate gender-based economic inequality. Part of the solution is taxing the wealthy and learning to value care.
"Getting the richest 1% to pay just 0.5% tax on their wealth – just on their wealth, not their income – would create enough money over the next 10 years to pay for 117m jobs, in education, health and elderly care," said Katy Chakrabortty from Oxfam GB.
When we invest in social values, women are helped economically, but everyone reaps the benefits. Caregiving is going to be more valuable than ever in the next ten years. It's estimated that by 2030, 2.3 billion people will be in need of care. That's 200 million up from 2015 according to the Oxfam report. Part of this has to do with the climate crisis, which is deeply entangled with issues of human care. Over the next five years, it's estimated that 2.4 billion people will be living with water shortages. Already, women and girls are disproportionately affected by this because they need to walk further to find water to nourish their communities, adding to their unpaid workload.
By thinking beyond profit and choosing to invest in water, infrastructure, and child and health care, governments can improve quality of life and liberate laborers from hours of work per day. As of now, many of them are only bolstering a system under which billions of people, disproportionately women, are suffocating under the mass of concentrated wealth held by a small group of men who grow richer and richer.
Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.
- The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
- Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
The value of forecasting<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTA0Njk2OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzM2NDQzOH0.rid9regiDaKczCCKBsu7wrHkNQ64Vz_XcOEZIzAhzgM/img.jpg?width=980" id="2bb93" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="31345afbdf2bd408fd3e9f31520c445a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1546" data-height="1056" />
Northwell emergency departments use the dashboard to monitor in real time.
Credit: Northwell Health<p>One unique benefit of forecasting COVID-19 hospitalizations is that it allows health systems to better prepare, manage and allocate resources. For example, if the tool forecasted a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in two weeks, Northwell Health could begin:</p><ul><li>Making space for an influx of patients</li><li>Moving personal protective equipment to where it's most needed</li><li>Strategically allocating staff during the predicted surge</li><li>Increasing the number of tests offered to asymptomatic patients</li></ul><p>The health-care field is increasingly using machine learning. It's already helping doctors develop <a href="https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2020/06/09/dc19-1870" target="_blank">personalized care plans for diabetes patients</a>, improving cancer screening techniques, and enabling mental health professionals to better predict which patients are at <a href="https://healthitanalytics.com/news/ehr-data-fuels-accurate-predictive-analytics-for-suicide-risk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">elevated risk of suicide</a>, to name a few applications.</p><p>Health systems around the world have already begun exploring how <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315944/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">machine learning can help battle the pandemic</a>, including better COVID-19 screening, diagnosis, contact tracing, and drug and vaccine development.</p><p>Cruzen said these kinds of tools represent a shift in how health systems can tackle a wide variety of problems.</p><p>"Health care has always used the past to predict the future, but not in this mathematical way," Cruzen said. "I think [Northwell Health's new predictive tool] really is a great first example of how we should be attacking a lot of things as we go forward."</p>
Making machine-learning tools openly accessible<p>Northwell Health has made its predictive tool <a href="https://github.com/northwell-health/covid-web-data-predictor" target="_blank">available for free</a> to any health system that wishes to utilize it.</p><p>"COVID is everybody's problem, and I think developing tools that can be used to help others is sort of why people go into health care," Dr. Cruzen said. "It was really consistent with our mission."</p><p>Open collaboration is something the world's governments and health systems should be striving for during the pandemic, said Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's president and CEO.</p><p>"Whenever you develop anything and somebody else gets it, they improve it and they continue to make it better," Dowling said. "As a country, we lack data. I believe very, very strongly that we should have been and should be now working with other countries, including China, including the European Union, including England and others to figure out how to develop a health surveillance system so you can anticipate way in advance when these things are going to occur."</p><p>In all, Northwell Health has treated more than 112,000 COVID patients. During the pandemic, Dowling said he's seen an outpouring of goodwill, collaboration, and sacrifice from the community and the tens of thousands of staff who work across Northwell.</p><p>"COVID has changed our perspective on everything—and not just those of us in health care, because it has disrupted everybody's life," Dowling said. "It has demonstrated the value of community, how we help one another."</p>
A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.
- A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
- Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
- The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to go ice fishing on Europa<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="GLGsRX7e" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4790eb8f0515e036b24c4195299df28"> <div id="botr_GLGsRX7e_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/GLGsRX7e-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/GLGsRX7e-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/GLGsRX7e-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Water Vapor Above Europa’s Surface Deteced for First Time<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c4abc8473e1b89170cc8941beeb1f2d"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WQ-E1lnSOzc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Can computers do calculations in multiple universes? Scientists are working on it. Step into the world of quantum computing.
- While today's computers—referred to as classical computers—continue to become more and more powerful, there is a ceiling to their advancement due to the physical limits of the materials used to make them. Quantum computing allows physicists and researchers to exponentially increase computation power, harnessing potential parallel realities to do so.
- Quantum computer chips are astoundingly small, about the size of a fingernail. Scientists have to not only build the computer itself but also the ultra-protected environment in which they operate. Total isolation is required to eliminate vibrations and other external influences on synchronized atoms; if the atoms become 'decoherent' the quantum computer cannot function.
- "You need to create a very quiet, clean, cold environment for these chips to work in," says quantum computing expert Vern Brownell. The coldest temperature possible in physics is -273.15 degrees C. The rooms required for quantum computing are -273.14 degrees C, which is 150 times colder than outer space. It is complex and mind-boggling work, but the potential for computation that harnesses the power of parallel universes is worth the chase.
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