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Drawing on a unique global dataset of nearly 5,000 measures adopted by 226 countries and territories in response to COVID-19, this UN Women and UNDP report finds that government responses paid insufficient attention to gender dynamics, though instances of innovation hold important lessons for gender-responsive policymaking during crises. The report analyses the factors that led to a strong gender response, generating key lessons for resilience and preparedness for future shocks.
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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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The report presents the evidence-based business case for gender-responsive procurement. It makes the case for companies to rethink their procurement practices, framing gender-responsive procurement as a way to create social and economic value amid increasing economic uncertainty.
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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 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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This policy brief explores the ways in which being a migrant accentuates the risks of women and girls to various forms of gender-based violence at all stages of migration and examines how this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief concludes with a set of recommendations on how to reduce the risks of gender-based violence and improve the provision and coordination of essential services for women and girls.
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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 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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This publication discusses ways to broaden the scope of gender-responsive procurement from a focus on only promoting women’s enterprises to also including gender-responsive enterprises. The publication aims to inspire a transformative conceptualization of gender-responsive procurement that supports both equal market opportunities for women’s enterprises and equal outcomes for women in the labour market and the business environment.
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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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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 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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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 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 report examines the roles of women in fisheries and aquaculture in countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the challenges and opportunities for their economic empowerment. The report provides a set of recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders to further advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in this sector.
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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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The MeToo movement and much other work have increased public attention on sexual harassment. Yet, many workers still await adequate protection and enjoyment of their rights. This discussion paper focuses on sexual harassment of workers in the informal economy, with a focus on farmworkers and domestic workers. The paper provides suggestions for action by governments and civil society organizations for a world of work free from sexual harassment.
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This brief presents emerging evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on women’s economic empowerment. It considers the immediate gendered economic impacts, including widening socioeconomic divides and shifting national and international priorities for the allocation of resources, as well as the long-term implications for women’s employment and livelihoods.
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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.