The Gendered Impact of Covid-19 On The Hospitality Industry In India | Teen Ink

The Gendered Impact of Covid-19 On The Hospitality Industry In India

September 9, 2021
By SuryaVirVaidhyanathan GOLD, Delhi, Other
SuryaVirVaidhyanathan GOLD, Delhi, Other
13 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The ramifications of an occurrence such as a pandemic once seemed to be a distant possibility. However, 2020 proved otherwise with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought the world to its feet. What followed was a hysterical storm ranging from fear of touching others to the fear of even breathing in someone's direction. Articles and WhatsApp forwards detailing preventative measures and, more often than not, misinformation ran rampant. The Covid-19 pandemic has had shattering effects on humanity- concerning both health and mortality- as well as on the broader socio-economic scene, one which will be felt for several years after a new normal is achieved.

In India, the outbreak of Covid-19 was initially taken in stride, with no significant steps being taken to protect the public. However, on the 24th of March, 2020, The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced a 21 day nationwide lockdown. It was extended thrice, ultimately easing up from the 31st of May when only essential businesses were allowed to open up. All malls, factories, hotels, public transport services, and airlines were forced to shut down 100% of their business operations.

The pandemic led to lower consumption, reduced demand, supply cuts, falling prices, lower spending, and high unemployment rates. Companies were forced to put their employees on leave without full pay or extended leave. Nevertheless, many of those in the unorganized sector, especially companies related to flexible contract work, immediately fired their employees.

The impact of the lockdown devastated the economy. The first quarter of the Fiscal Year was at the forefront of the lockdown, and India suffered the second-worst GDP contraction in the world, with the GDP contracting by 24.4%. The unemployment rates also soared to 23.5%, according to the World Bank.

As expected of an industry built on affability and congeniality, the hospitality industry suffered through the caution and paranoia covid brought forth. Low demand and cancellations perused receptions as travel for business and pleasure came to a standstill. Minimal hotels offering quarantine services as prescribed by the government were allowed to function but were restricted to charge a nominal amount in exchange. While this sustained them through the lockdown, most employees were still put on leave without full pay or extended leave.

When the pandemic first hit, a large number of women in the informal sector were the first to be affected and immediately lost their jobs. The work provided by women is devalued; thus, companies usually lay off women first. There is an increase in the burden for women due to the pandemic. Women have had to take up multiple roles that they previously shared responsibility for. There is a need for protective measures in the informal sector so that women are not exploited. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has, in fact, worsened the situation for women. Women received discriminatory treatment during the pandemic. Women constitute two-thirds of the global workforce in the health sector. Shockingly, there was a pay gap of 28%, according to the WHO, 2019. Despite discrimination, women who work as nurses and caregivers are at the frontline fighting the deadly virus. According to a report by McKinsey, Women's job loss rate was 1.8 times as much as men's due to the pandemic. Women are disproportionately suffering from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a staggering rise in domestic violence against women during the lockdown in India. 

 In the Hospitality Industry, Women work as cleaners, receptionists, waiters, and many other roles. Many of these are in the informal sector. As soon as the pandemic started, these women were out of jobs. Forced to stay at home, they looked after their households: Taking up activities such as cleaning, cooking, and caring for the elderly and young.


 India is one of the leading aviation markets in the world. It also has the highest proportion of female commercial pilots in the world. Most flight attendants in India are women. IndiGo, the largest Indian-based Airline, only hires Women as flight attendants as well. Due to airports being shut until July, many women lost their jobs. Many women have not gone back to work. They may never go back as they find a new role in their household; even though their financial independence goes, they much rather work in the safety of their homes. The government should ensure that Companies cannot openly discriminate against women by firing a significantly higher proportion of women. The government can also support women by giving them leave without pay, extended leave, or those recently fired, Stimulus Checks.  The Stimulus Checks will ensure that they can be financially stable during the pandemic. Governments can set up think tanks to see the impact of Covid-19 on women and use the data to formulate policies that will benefit women to become financially independent. If the government can promote this generation of young women to be financially independent, young women will be inspired to be self-sustained, creating a virtuous cycle, helping women everywhere.


Hotel Tech Report 

Hopkins Medicine 

Reva Education

 BW hotelier 

UN Women  


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