RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Sao Paulo city officials put out a call last month for 4,500 public school cleaning jobs, targeting Brazilian mothers affected by the raging pandemic. In just two days, over 90,000 women applied. The overwhelming response offers a glimpse at how women have been disproportionally sidelined by the crisis. Worldwide, as schools remain closed, many mothers juggle fewer work hours with homeschooling and household duties. Others put their careers on hold entirely, or were laid off. In Brazil, female participation in the workforce has fallen below 50% for the first time in at least a decade. And as the nation battles a brutal resurgence in COVID-19, economists say the health and economic crises are further delaying the return of women to the workforce.
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