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UN calls for special measures to advance women participation

March 7, 2021 9:00 am
[File Photo]

COVID-19 has erased decades of progress towards gender equality.

As the world marks its second International Women’s Day since the onset of the pandemic, common livelihoods for women in the Pacific have been devastated.

In his annual statement, Guterres says women make up the informal sector where income is not secure and there is no insurance, paid leave or safety nets.

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He adds when there are economic shocks and people can’t trade, women with informal businesses such as market vendors, have no other way to access money.

The UN SG adds that in Fiji, women crafters are in some families the sole breadwinners and they have experienced more home responsibilities, particularly with children and grandchildren being confined.

As the informal sector continues to swell due to job losses and reduced working hours, the UN has embarked on a project aimed at supporting economic recovery through strengthening the long-term sustainability of businesses in the informal.

The year-long initiative targets two main sub-sectors of Pacific informal economies – the creative industries and agriculture sectors.

Guterres is calling on countries, companies and institutions to adopt special measures to advance women’s equal participation and achieve rapid change.

He adds pandemic recovery is our chance to leave behind generations of exclusion and inequalities.

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