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COVID-19 recovery provides a unique opportunity to close the gender gap (Devex)

January 22, 2021

From the op-ed:

While it’s still too soon to know definitively what’s happening across the globe to women during the pandemic, data from 26,000 business owners and managers collected across 50 countries revealed that women were more likely than men to close their businesses as a result of the crisis. In sub-Saharan Africa, 43% of women-owned businesses closed versus 34% of those owned by men, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, these figures were 39% versus 29%.

And wage workers aren’t doing any better. Though during past economic crises men’s employment suffered while women were able to enter the workforce or increase the amount of paid work they did to supplement household income, this time early evidence suggests that women in the formal sector have been hit hardest and are now crowding into the informal sector, with those previously working informally turning to subsistence production — farming that may cover households’ food needs but doesn’t bring in income.

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Photo of Megan O'Donnell (2019 version)
Assistant Director, Gender Program and Policy Fellow