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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 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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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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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 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 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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This report provides reviews of the activities undertaken by Member States and United Nations entities to enable women and girls, especially the poorest and most marginalized, in rural areas to improve their livelihoods, well-being and resilience in a changing climate.
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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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Across sub-Saharan Africa, the agricultural sector remains critical to local and regional economies. Based on original research in five countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and United Republic of Tanzania), this policy brief shows that gender gaps in agricultural productivity do not arise because women are less efficient farmers but because they experience inequitable access to agricultural inputs, including family labour, high-yield crops, pesticides, and fertilizer.
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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.
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Women shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid work around the world, and gender imbalances in the distribution of care work constitute a root cause of women’s economic and social disempowerment. This paper aims to identify the policy and programmatic entry points and the key tools involved in transforming the care economy so as to promote gender equality, human development, and inclusive and sustainable growth.
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This discussion paper reviews literature on homeworkers in global supply chains from 2000 to 2017. The review was guided by the following questions: What are the vulnerabilities of homeworkers in global supply chains? What mechanisms exist to provide legal and social protections for homeworkers and to secure their livelihoods? How have homeworkers made gains through organizing and agency, and what challenges do they continue to face in this area?
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This comprehensive gender analysis of Cabo Verde will guide UN Women and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in assisting the Government to integrate and mainstream gender issues to maximize efforts for both gender equality and poverty eradication.
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Few programmes for economically empowering rural women in India have focused seriously on farming—the one occupation in which the women have most experience. This paper examines whether group farming can enable women farmers to overcome resource constraints and gain economically.