Leaving women and girls further behind or a potential opportunity for strengthening gender equality? Lessons from the COVID-19 crisis in the Arab region - ESCWA

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Leaving women and girls further behind or a potential opportunity for strengthening gender equality? Lessons from the COVID-19 crisis in the Arab region

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2022/TP.11


Country: Arab region

Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Future of employment, Inclusive development, Gender equality, 2030 Agenda

Initiatives: Women’s rights and gender mainstreaming, Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls, Women’s economic empowerment, Women, peace and security, Reforming social protection systems, COVID-19 Stimulus Tracker

SDGs: Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Keywords: Women, Gender equality, Gender mainstreaming, Gender-based violence, Gender discrimination, Covid-19, Girls, Arab countries, Crisis management, Economic security, Employment discrimination, Employment security, Employment, Social protection, Economic growth

Leaving women and girls further behind or a potential opportunity for strengthening gender equality? Lessons from the COVID-19 crisis in the Arab region

July 2022

Almost two years into the pandemic, COVID-19 crisis continues to adversely impact peoples’ lives globally. While the health and socioeconomic crisis caused by the pandemic affects everyone, disproportionate economic impact on individuals and groups who may already be vulnerable, marginalized or overlooked is becoming apparent. Across the globe, women earn less, save less, hold less secure jobs, and are more likely to be employed in the informal sector. They have less access to social protection and their capacity to absorb economic shocks is therefore less than that of men. The situation of women in the Arab region is not so different, and the COVID-19 crisis further exacerbated the pre-existing inequalities.

To mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 crisis, governments in the world, including the Arab States, acted at considerable speed to design and implement policy measures to protect jobs, infrastructure and economic growth. These fiscal and social policy measures are structured around the seven categories followed by ESCWA global Stimulus Tracker. As the various policy responses to previous crises have shown, for the COVID-19 response plans, governments used existing 'channels', which can be mobilized and geared to ease the recession burden but in which women are less included and to which they have less access.

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Future of employment , Inclusive development , Gender equality , 2030 Agenda
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