Learning from the mistakes of the past, “Beyond COVID-19: A Feminist Plan for Sustainability and Social Justice” presents a vision to tackle jobs, care and intersecting climate crises.
UN Women Media Team: [email protected]
Today, UN Women released a feminist plan for economic recovery and transformation, building on the COVID-19 pandemic and previous crises: “Beyond COVID-19: A Feminist Plan for Sustainability and Social Justice. “
As the world faces the choice between doubling down on the mistakes of the past or seizing the opportunity to do things differently, in the UN’s forefront of gender, the new flagship report draws on the latest data, analysis and contributions. from more than 100 global experts to provide a vision and concrete pathways to put gender equality, environmental sustainability and social justice at the center of global development efforts.
The report details how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing gender inequalities and exposed weaknesses in the already fragile global care economy. Globally, in 2019 and 2020, women lost 54 million jobs, and even before the pandemic, they took on three times as many unpaid care tasks as men. Women are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation while being excluded from decision-making regarding policies and funding to address climate change. By the end of 2021, men’s employment will have recovered, but there will still be 13 million fewer women in employment.
This trio of interconnected jobs, care and climate crises systematically undermines gender equality and threatens the survival of people and the planet, but there is still an opportunity to change course.
“The need for a new social contract that ensures sustainability and social justice for all has never been clearer. We have a generational opportunity to break the vicious cycle of economic insecurity, environmental destruction and exclusionary policies and to shape a better, more equal and more sustainable world. Today’s report provides a roadmap to achieve this, while reclaiming lost ground on gender equality and women’s rights, ”said Pramila Patten, Acting Executive Director.
To address these intersecting crises, UN Women calls for better policies, actions and investments, including:
- Investing in the care economy and social infrastructure such as expanding quality care services to create jobs and increase support for informal caregivers, as countries like Canada and Argentina have done. Public investments in health care services could create 40 to 60% more jobs than the same investments in construction. In countries like Brazil and South Africa, cash transfers for informal workers, specifically targeting women, have been implemented in the wake of the pandemic.
- Harnessing the potential of the transition to environmental sustainability, which could create up to 24 million new green jobs, in areas such as renewable energy. Women should be given the opportunity to access their fair share of these opportunities, including obtaining the necessary training and skills.
- Promote women’s leadership in institutional spaces: from governments to civil society and the private sector, and in particular in crisis response. Although they have been at the forefront of the response to COVID-19, representing 70% of healthcare workers globally, women currently only hold 24% of seats in the COVID-19 task forces that have coordinated the political response in the world.
- Increase funding for women’s organizations. Despite their essential role as gatekeepers and social safety nets in communities, women’s organizations are woefully underfunded. In 2018-2019, women’s rights organizations received only 1% of all OECD DAC aid allocated to gender equality, which is only a tiny fraction of the total. total help.
To finance these measures, transformative macroeconomic policies – including progressive taxes and, especially for low-income countries, global cooperation and debt relief – are urgently needed. Equally important will be to achieve a shift in power relations to amplify the voices of historically excluded groups and ensure effective gender mainstreaming.