This section hosts guidelines, manuals and toolkits to strengthen public health practice.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened existing gender inequalities, exposed fundamental flaws in economic and social systems, and posed a serious threat to the gains made on gender equality. The pandemic has led to a rise in unemployment, more unpaid care work, and unprecedented levels of domestic violence and school dropouts. The pandemic has had a particularly strong impact on women who, prior to COVID-19, were holding insecure employment and living close to the poverty line.1 The pandemic will likely push 47 million more women and girls below the poverty line.2 In some sectors, women have experienced disproportionate job losses and economic insecurity as a result of the pandemic. While women make up 39 per cent of global employment, they account for 54 per cent of the overall job losses due to the crisis.3 Female job-loss rates resulting from COVID-19 are about 1.8 times higher than male job-loss rates globally.4 In the U.S., for example, nearly 60 per cent of people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic are women.5 Gender gaps in access to finance have created additional challenges for women entrepreneurs to find working capital solutions to navigate liquidity shocks during the crisis. In India, for example, 35 per cent of women entrepreneurs report that they have suffered declining revenues due to COVID-19.6 In Sri Lanka, 72 per cent of women small business owners reported experiencing difficulties accessing their usual financial services, and 31 per cent borrowed from family or friends to support their business because of COVID-19.
As COVID-19 widens global gender gaps, IFC and UN Women have partnered to showcase a growing number of companies and organizations around the world that are taking action to ensure the economic inclusion and social well-being of their employees, customers, and suppliers, as well as local communities.
This report aims to inform companies around the world on emerging practices and initiatives for supporting women employees, entrepreneurs and those in value chains amid the pandemic. It is structured according to the six areas of action or pillars, as listed below. Each thematic pillar provides a short introduction, examples of what companies are doing to further progress, and practices and takeaways that other companies can apply.
It is structured according to six areas of action or pillars:
Each thematic pillar provides a short introduction, examples of what companies are doing to further progress, and practices and takeaways that other companies can apply.