European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and UN Women join forces to address pandemic’s economic impact on women

Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and UN Women will cooperate and boost efforts in making gender equality and women’s empowerment a priority in the Covid-19 response and recovery efforts. The two organisations expect to benefit millions of women who have been deeply hurt by the pandemic, especially those in insecure employment.

According to the EBRD, the pandemic will push 47 million more women and girls below the poverty line. Around the world, women are more likely to work in sectors hard hit by lockdown policies, such as hospitality and food services, retail, tourism and healthcare. Women are also over-represented in informal, temporary and part-time jobs, with reduced legal and social protection. Besides, women entrepreneurs have been at higher risk and they are overrepresented in those sectors impacted by lockdown measures: their businesses tend to be smaller and carry lower cash reserves and access to finance and support networks is traditionally more limited for women entrepreneurs.

The EBRD and UN Women will seek to address these challenges together through data, policies and programming targeting women-owned enterprises and building partnerships with the private sector, including via the large network of companies that have adopted the Women’s Empowerment Principles. They will also jointly tackle the digital divide and climate threat, ensuring that women are well represented in future jobs in technology, innovation and green economy.

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Press release