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This publication explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s economic empowerment in the tourism sector which has disproportionately affected women due to pre-existing gender inequalities and women’s predominance in the sector’s workforce. The document examines emerging research and data, identifies innovative responses across regions, and makes concrete recommendations for action to ensure that women’s economic empowerment is central to the COVID-19 response and recovery in the tourism sector.
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This working paper features data and analyses of women’s representation in 133 countries and areas. The paper considers the impacts of legislated quotas and electoral systems in local elections on women’s political participation and identifies remaining data gaps on women’s political participation in local government, including data disaggregation, underused electoral data, and the need for new data collection tools.
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This brief analyses the extent to and ways in which countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made extensive use of social protection instruments to confront the economic and social fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on a unique data set of national social protection strategies from 30 countries in the region, it finds that while a significant number of strategies acknowledge gendered risks and vulnerabilities, few include specific actions to address them. The brief concludes with a set of recommendations.
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This working paper analyses how women leaders at the national and subnational levels of government managed COVID-19 response and recovery from January 2020 through March 2021. The paper finds that women decision-makers demonstrated effective leadership, rapid response, and implemented socially inclusive policies and provides recommendations on how to ensure women’s participation and contribution to the pandemic response and recovery.
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This study highlights the laws and policies in G7 countries that impact the lives of women. It showcases the progress of 350 companies (largest 50 companies in each G7 country) against Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) indicators, underscoring the importance of WEPs as a framework in providing concrete steps to advance women’s economic empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.
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The guidance note discusses key concepts and norms about violence against women in politics, including definitions and normative frameworks, and provides practical guidance for addressing violence against women in politics at country level through different interventions.
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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 paper uses harmonized collections of national labor force datasets to compare the size and shape of the paid care sector around the globe. The paper then explores the relationship between the size of the care sector and various measures of need for care, finding very little evidence of relationship. Finally, the paper explores wages and working conditions for paid care workers in a subset of countries for which data is available.
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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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Women’s full and equal participation in all decision-making processes is necessary to achieve gender equality and drive progress towards sustainable development. A follow up to Shaping the international agenda publication (2017), this publication is a useful tool to raise awareness and promote gender parity in intergovernmental bodies and processes.
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This report explores some key indicators of women’s economic empowerment in labour markets and women’s political participation and economic leadership in the Indian Ocean Rim region through three dimensions: resources, agency, and achievements. It highlights good practices, case studies, and challenges and opportunities for investments and initiatives, and provides key recommendations for Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member States and other stakeholders to realize women’s economic empowerment in the region.
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This brief presents emerging evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls (VAWG). The brief advocates for measures that prevent and respond to VAWG in the current circumstances of lockdown as well as for investments that ensure the safety of women and girls in longer-term recovery plans.
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This brief shines a light on the critical role of women’s leadership in responding to COVID-19 and preparing for a more equitable recovery. In addition to considering the pandemic’s immediate impacts on women’s political participation, the brief demonstrates the opportunity to “build back better” by including and supporting women, and the organizations and networks that represent them, in the decision-making processes that will ultimately shape the post-pandemic future.
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This brief presents emerging evidence on the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the care economy. It highlights key measures needed to address the increase in unpaid care work as a result of the pandemic, ensure adequate compensation and decent working conditions for paid care workers, and enable the participation of paid and unpaid caregivers in the policy decisions that affect them.
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Across the world, the care of children continues to be primarily provided by women and girls, and such a burden constrains their ability to participate equally in employment and social and political life, and to earn an income commensurate with that of men. The goal of this research is to measure and value women’s contribution to the economy through their unpaid care and domestic work responsibilities in the Republic of Serbia.
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How are women’s employment outcomes shaped by domestic and caregiving responsibilities? Drawing on a global dataset and new indicators developed by UN Women and the International Labour Organization, this paper provides insights into the distribution of domestic and caregiving responsibilities within various types of households—insights that are critical at this juncture when policies and programmes are being designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.
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On the tenth anniversary of UN Women’s establishment, this report brings together research and evidence from state and non-state actors to demonstrate how laws around the world treat women and girls, using trends since 2015 which highlight both gains and ongoing challenges. The report also shares UN Women’s best practices and lessons learned in legal reforms with stakeholders within and outside the UN system, through diverse examples of interventions.
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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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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.