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This publication summarizes the key challenges women-owned and women-led businesses are facing when competing for public procurement opportunities and presents the main approaches and policies that have made a difference across the globe. Examples from several countries are highlighted, including Dominican Republic, Chile, Colombia, Kenya, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates.
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The pandemic has tested and even reversed progress in expanding women’s rights and opportunities. “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2021” presents the latest evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, highlighting the progress made since 2015 but also the continued alarm over the COVID-19 pandemic, its immediate effect on women’s well-being, and the threat it poses to future generations.
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This paper argues for investing in free universal high quality childcare services in order to reduce gender inequality in earnings and employment. It estimates the employment-generating and fiscal effects of investing in free universal childcare in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and the United Republic of Tanzania. The study estimates the total costs of investing in childcare services to increase the enrollment (coverage) rate for children in formal childcare services to different target levels.
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This policy brief presents entry points for the application of gender-responsive budgeting to COVID-19 support and recovery packages. Drawing on country examples, the brief provides recommendations on the use of gender budgeting tools to identify gaps in policy responses and direct spending towards gender-responsive COVID-19 support and recovery packages.
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This policy tool is designed to document the extent to which gender inequalities in the labour market are being exacerbated by the pandemic, thereby informing a better understanding on how to protect workers and promote a gender-responsive economic recovery. The tool will also help identify policies for improving working conditions in female-dominated economic sectors and promoting greater inclusion of women workers in new promising sectors, thus widening their opportunities.

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UN Women continues to argue that it is important to ensure that adopted economic stimulus and recovery package are gender-responsive. Packages must be implemented in a way that does not disproportionally and negatively impact women and girls. Policies adopted in response to the COVID-19 crisis must identify areas that macro-level policies can effectively target to address gendered impacts of the crisis. This policy tool is specifically designed to achieve this.
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UN Women has emerged as a global leader in the promotion of the care economy, and this work has highlighted the urgent need to invest in childcare facilities through private and public partnerships to reduce women’s unpaid care work and to allow women to take an active role in the economy. This policy tool provides a blueprint for making a policy case for sustained investment in the care economy.

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The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing gender data gaps that undermine our ability to intentionally craft gender-responsive policies and programmes. Filling these data gaps poses a significant challenge as many data collection efforts have been disrupted due to COVID-19 control measures, but without addressing these gender data gaps and collection obstacles, we cannot fully understand or mitigate the gendered impacts of the pandemic.
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As the world learns to live with COVID-19, to emerge from the current crisis, and to “build back better”, UN Women will launch Plan for Equal, a visionary but practical roadmap for putting gender equality, social justice, and sustainability at the centre of the recovery. It will feed into UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum and Action Coalitions, aimed at accelerating commitment, action, and financing for gender equality.
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This discussion paper focuses on the interconnections between policies to move toward universal health care (UHC) as a key element of social protection and those to advance gender equality, women’s empowerment, and human rights. Based on an analysis of country experiences, it shows how gender is a key fulcrum on which all health system elements are leveraged and is hence central to achieving UHC.
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The pandemic has interrupted progress on gender equality, but it can be brought back on course. This year’s edition of “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot” brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, underscoring the progress made, but also the progress interrupted as a result of COVID-19.
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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking working hours, increased care burdens, and heightened violence have exacerbated the challenges that women and girls face. Unless action is taken, by 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty, including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19. This publication presents the latest evidence on the multiple impacts of the pandemic on women and girls.
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Analysing data from 11 national household surveys, this research found that, while women typically earn less than men and pay more in transfer fees, the average remittance amounts they send are the same as or even greater than those of men, implying that they tend to remit a larger portion of their earnings than do men. The research also showed that migrant women are more dependent on in-person cash transfer services to send remittances.
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This paper examines the case for investing in free universal childcare services in North Macedonia in order to reduce gender inequality in employment, labour market activity and earnings; promote higher human capital through greater enrolment of children in early childhood learning and development; and ensure equal access to all children in formal childcare as to foster the life chances and well-being of young children.
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This research paper explores the connection between gender and age inequality and disaster risk, examining evidence at a global level, and in three case study countries: Nepal, Malawi, and Dominica.
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This handbook provides practical guidance, elaborated with case studies, on how additional fiscal space can be created for a universal social protection system. The analyses should help governments on how they can increase spending on priority sectors for women, children, and vulnerable groups.
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This discussion paper presents a costing analysis for a set of family-friendly services and transfers: income protection for children, people of working age, and older persons; universal health coverage; and early childhood care and education and long-term care services. The costing shows that such a package is affordable in many countries.
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The 2019 “World survey” is focused on the reasons for the high levels of income poverty and time poverty among women and contains an analysis of the rationale for taking an integrated policy approach to addressing the double bind experienced by women in that regard, as a timely and relevant means of achieving sustainable development, in particular in low-income contexts.
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This study contributes to the policy debate on early childhood education and care (ECEC) expansion in the Kyrgyz Republic, and shows an estimated cost of providing universal childcare, it’s employment impact on men and women, as well as the tax revenue implication from the increased employment. The report argues that access to quality, formal ECEC plays a crucial role from the perspective of children as beneficiaries and parents as primary providers of care.
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This publication shows that economic growth is an inherently gendered process and that gender-based inequalities can, in fact, be barriers to shared prosperity. It argues that, for growth to be gender-equitable and truly inclusive, the pattern of growth must create decent work and productive employment for women and men. This would require policymakers to rethink the role of macro-level economic policies, including trade, industrial, macroeconomic, finance, and investment policies.