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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 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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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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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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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 guidance note highlights the emerging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women migrant workers, focusing on the key challenges and risks they face. It makes recommendations in the context of the economic and social response and recovery packages that governments are putting forward, supported by examples of existing good practices from around the world.
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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 paper concerns the implications of migration within Central America for family life. Focusing on the case of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, it shows how Nicaraguan families develop strategies based on a history of informal and flexible caregiving. While these informal strategies allow families to navigate the challenges migration and family separation entail, they also contribute to continued vulnerability and reinforce the gendered burdens of caregiving within transnational families.
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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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This report outlines the current context with respect to the problem of violence against women migrant workers. It provides information on the measures taken by Member States and activities undertaken within the UN system to address this issue and ensure the protection of migrant women’s human rights.
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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.