The Gender gap is how we can achieve equal economic recovery

During the COVID-19 pandemic, progress toward gender parity has slowed or even reversed. Women have faced the brunt of the recession, termed the secession,’ owing to their employment in the most affected industries, such as retail and hospitality.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, closing the gender gap will take more than 135 years, up from 99 years in 2020.

So, how can the private sector, government, and civil society work together to reduce these negative effects on women and create a more inclusive economy?

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Anne Richards, Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity International; Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; Busi Mabuza, Chairperson of the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), South Africa were among the speakers at the Agenda Dialogue. Brge Brende, presided over the discussion, moderated by Adrian Monck, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.

Women’s leadership has the potential to change the world.

Women like Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, have already taken the lead in the COVID-19 response, bringing in fiscal measures that can secure the necessary transitions for women, according to Mohammed.Women are concerned about issues such as climate change, energy, and connectivity, and there is female leadership in all of these areas.

“Women can rule the world,” we now have a larger understanding of what has to be done in areas such as human rights and services to promote greater inclusion and equality for all. Better societal outcomes result from ensuring women’s equal leadership and involvement, as well as involving more women in decision-making. Young female leaders inspire hope and have a can-do attitude. She went on to say that more needs to be done at the local level, including better use of domestic resources to “do things differently and understand the co-benefits of collaborating across sectors.

“We could potentially leapfrog in some areas, she noted, citing the increased investment in connection as schooling began to shut down as an example. Changes in policy and the use of purchasing power. According to Richards, the pandemic recession has harmed women more than the 2009 financial crisis did male workers.” If you become unemployed during the recession, it’s difficult to regain your earning power. The pandemic is expected to impact the working women many years into the future, so we need to think carefully how to mitigate these effects so it doesn’t go down the generations.

“According to Jope, having a more diverse workforce is excellent for business. Women have significant purchasing power, accounting for 75% of Unilever product purchases.Throughout its value chain, the corporation has increased its diversity and inclusion activities. He proposed four strategies that have shown to be effective:

1. Leadership from the top, making diversity a strategic priority.

2. Setting targets and holding leaders accountable.

3. Policies, which factor in that there are “many different ways of working and you don’t have to adhere to a 100-year-old stereotype.”

4. Shining a spotlight on unconscious bias in appointments over a 10-year period.”Grand declarations from top don’t work.

We need to stop admiring the problem and get to policy and managerial changes.”Women-owned small businesses are being aided.According to Mabuza, unemployment among women in South Africa was nearly 50% in the last quarter, using an enlarged definition (those available for work but not looking for work).”This is inexcusable and unsustainable.” She has observed women entrepreneurs who have had to take a step back and are now hesitant to return to the market.Financial packages will assist, but turmoil in South Africa has hindered progress.

The vaccination rollout took a step forward after businesses joined forces with the government, and the same can be said for equality.”Targets function because they’re measurable,” says the author. Women-owned enterprises must now receive 40% of government contracts, igniting a fresh wave of activity in the markets.

According to Jope, Unilever allocates a portion of their money to women-owned enterprises.”We can impact hundreds of thousands of women through our value chain, such as the Shakti programme helping women in rural India.”Food security and the climate emergency. The value of collaboration at a business level has been taught to us by COP26 and action on the climate emergency, according to Richards.

We can effect real change by bringing together similar frameworks and pooling resources cooperatively, as demonstrated by the strength of different task forces bringing together common frameworks and pooling resources. The strength of what we can achieve through our ecosystem demonstrates that we can work together to close the gender gap.

Looking ahead to the UN General Assembly and the Food Systems Summit in September, Mohammed says we need a more fair COVID response that doesn’t place the responsibility on women.Women play a crucial part in our food systems, and the commercial prospects are enormous. Let us consider how to make supply and value chains more resilient when we reinstall them, since there will be another pandemic.

Inputs: weforum.org

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