Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 45 minutes | 10:00 GMT
The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems and consequently amplifying the impacts of the pandemic. As seen during previous health crises, women are amongst the most negatively affected, especially in low-income countries. Nearly 60 percent of women around the world work in the informal economy, having less earnings and savings at their disposal, which increases their risk of remaining in or
falling into poverty. Due to the pandemic, not only are women losing paid employment, their unpaid care work duties have increased exponentially as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people – both of which they are, due to social norms, expected to take care of to a greater extent than men.
These inequalities could lead to the gender gap widening, and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19 could reverse the progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In the light of this, António Guterres, UN Secretary General, i.e. through the “Women rise for all” initative and a dedicated policy brief, urged to put women’s leadership and contributions at the heart of resilience and recovery, starting with women as leaders, with equal representation and decision-making power.
To support these efforts, gender-responsive approaches like gender lens investing are essential in both the immediate response and longer-term recovery solutions for global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. They are crucial for mitigating disproportionately negative effects on women, as well as for increasing resilience to future shocks by supporting a more stable and inclsuive public and private sector, for the benefit of society as a whole.
The proposed session explores how gender lens investing contributes to building back better by applying a gender lens in the identification of long-term recovery solutions.