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Negative Covid-19 impact on women's economic development


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the Covid-19 pandemic could imperil the significant progress made by women over the past three decades in terms of reducing the economic gender gap. In a statement released yesterday, the IMF said women in the Mediterranean region are mostly affected because of they perform the larger part of unpaid domestic work, at a rate of 2.7 hours per week. Hence, it is of utmost importance that policymakers take measures to reduce the costs of coronavirus on women, the statement maintained. The IMF also stressed that the health crisis anticipated to cause a shrinking of the global GDP (by 4.9%), will weigh heavily on women more than men. Noting, that women occupy more jobs in industries largely hit by Covid-19, such as the services, retail and hotels sectors. In the USA alone, nearly 54% of women work in sectors that don’t support remote work, while about 67% of women in Brazil are unable to work remotely. The IMF statement hailed the Latin American Alliance, founded last April at the request of Colombia, Costa Rica and the Economic Commission for South America and the Caribbean, for promoting the status of women. It also praised steps taken by Italy, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia to grant paid leave, albeit partially, to parents of children under a specified age. (An Nahar, July 21, 2020)

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