UN Women unveils new feminist roadmap for economic recovery

IANS File Photo

IANS File Photo

UNITED NATIONS, SEPTEMBER 17 (IANS): UN Women has unveiled a feminist plan for economic recovery and transformation, learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and previous crises.

The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing gender inequalities and laid bare weaknesses in the already fragile global care economy, said UN Women in the report, titled "Beyond Covid-19: A Feminist Plan for Sustainability and Social Justice", Xinhua news agency reported Globally, in 2019 and 2020, women lost 54 million jobs. Even before the pandemic, they took on three times as much unpaid care work as men.

Women are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation while also being left out of decision-making around policy and financing to address climate change.

By the end of 2021, men's jobs will have recovered, but there will still be 13 million fewer women in employment, it said.

To address these intersecting crises, UN Women is calling for better policy, action and investment, including investing in the care economy and social infrastructure such as the expansion of quality care services to create jobs and increase support for unpaid caregivers; harnessing the potential of the transition to environmental sustainability, which could create up to 24 million new green jobs; promoting women's leadership across institutional spaces; and increasing funding for women's organisations.

To finance these measures, transformative macroeconomic policies. including progressive taxes and, especially for low-income countries, global cooperation and debt relief. are urgently needed.

Equally important will be to achieve a shift in power relations to amplify the voices of historically excluded groups and ensure effective gender mainstreaming, said the report.

"The need for a new social contract that delivers sustainability and social justice for all has never been clearer," Pramila Patten, acting executive director of UN Women, said on Thursday.

"We have a generational opportunity to break the vicious cycle of economic insecurity, environmental destruction and exclusionary politics and shape a better, more gender-equal and sustainable world.

"Today's report provides a roadmap for how to do this, while recovering the ground that's been lost on gender equality and women's rights," she added.