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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 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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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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The digital revolution brings immense potential to improve social and economic outcomes for women. Yet, it also poses the risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality. This report begins by outlining a conceptual framework for understanding the mutual shaping relationship between gender and technology. It then focuses on three areas to identify opportunities and risks in the digital revolution: education, work, and social/welfare services.
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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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This brief highlights emerging trends and impacts of COVID-19 on online and ICT-facilitated violence against women and girls (VAWG). It provides examples of strategies put in place to prevent and respond to online/ICT-facilitated VAWG and makes recommendations on how different actors can best address this issue. It is a living document that draws upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of experts.
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With many businesses struggling to survive as a consequence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, loss of jobs and income and rising working poverty are a reality for many workers. This document offers (interim) recommendations for employers to mitigate the negative consequences stemming from COVID-19.
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This study, based on data from 59 low- and middle-income countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Southern Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, finds that women and their families bear the brunt of growing income inequality and failures to adequately plan for and respond to rapid urbanization. The publication examines the effects of multidimensional poverty in urban areas, with women facing greater exposure to life in slum-like conditions than men.
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This brief reviews a decade of feminist research on conditional cash transfers that has raised serious questions about the assumptions that underpin the use of conditionalities and their impact on poor women’s lives. It highlights concerns about the detrimental effects that conditionalities may have in contexts where quality public services are lacking and where multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination mean that well-intended programme requirements easily slip into coercive and disempowering implementation practices.
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This discussion paper begins by presenting an overview of the latest research on cash transfers, gender protection, and empowerment outcomes. It continues by discussing some of the programme design features to consider when seeking to improve gender outcomes. Finally, the paper concludes with a set of research questions that can help shape future research and practice in this area.
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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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Are we on track to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls? This report brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, underscoring the progress made as well as the action still needed to accelerate progress.
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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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RESPECT Women is a policy framework launched by twelve UN, bilateral, and multilateral agencies, which outlines steps for a public health and human rights–based approach to scaling up prevention programming on violence against women. It builds on the learnings compiled in the UN Prevention of Violence against Women Framework (2015), and in additional systematic reviews, to provide evidence-based strategies on preventing violence against women.
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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 brochure showcases some of UN Women’s thoughts and practices around innovation that could accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment. The examples range from pilot programmes with marginalized beneficiaries to partnerships with start-ups; from frontier technologies to non-tech interventions that challenge mindsets; and from procedural improvements to capacity-building.
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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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This discussion paper provides an updated analysis of gendered economic inequality in high- and middle-income countries. A review of the literature demonstrates that such an analysis needs to explicitly recognize that gender, poverty, and (economic) inequality are intrinsically linked. It was produced for UN Women’s flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2019”, and also released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.
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This policy brief synthesizes research findings, analysis, and policy recommendations on the gender dimensions of informal employment in cities. It focuses on three groups of informally self-employed women working in urban areas—street vendors, home-based workers, and waste pickers—to show how organizations of informal workers engaging with local and national policymakers are working to advance these workers’ rights and help to create more inclusive cities for all.