Impact on women and gender equality
Impact on women’s economic activity and livelihood, including in the informal sector
There is a clear relationship between gender inequality and poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the gender poverty gap. While both men and women have been hard hit by the economic impact of COVID-19, women are disproportionately affected by income loss and loss of economic opportunities. This is because across many countries, women are over-represented in the informal sector, as well as in the industries most affected by the pandemic, such as hospitality and education. According to UN Women, the COVID-19 pandemic will push 27 million women and girls into extreme poverty, bringing the total number of women and girls living on under USD 1.90 to nearly half a billion. Women heads of households, women with disabilities, and young women are particularly affected by the economic impacts.
In the Philippines, 6.6 million women work in the informal sector. This makes them more vulnerable to economic shocks, as they have lower job stability, no social or labor protections, and smaller income and savings. In Cameroon, women rely on informal jobs, small trade and agriculture to earn their income. Prior to the pandemic, 79.2% of women were under-employed, 51.5% of women lived under the poverty line, and women made up 70% of workers in the informal agricultural sector – making them particularly vulnerable to economic instability caused by COVID-19.
Explore the data in the dashboard to learn more.