As the world is getting back to normal after the pandemic, the first estimates are showing that the crisis left around 32 million people in poverty all around the world. Despite the relatively low numbers of cases in underdeveloped countries, they took the hardest socio-economic blow.
Recent data obtained through joint research by UNCTAD and EIF show that it is women who are the most affected by this situation. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the sectors of tourism, textile, and horticulture, all of which mostly employ women.
Gender perspective in policymaking was virtually nonexistent even before the crisis, which made the gender gap even more obvious. The UN experts believe that the only way to avoid further worsening of the situation is to adopt gender-sensitive policies.
The economies of the least developed countries (LCDs) depend on export and tourism, where women make up around 45% of employment in agriculture, for example. This group of countries is home to over one billion people, which means the numbers shouldn’t be taken lightly.
While this percentage doesn’t sound that bad by itself, the actual situation is much more complex. Many of these countries still maintain customary laws that prohibit women to own any property, making them dependent on men in their families.
Furthermore, women rely on manual labor, they are almost always paid drastically less and exposed to various health risks. In some countries like Tanzania and Mozambique 38% – 46% of working women don’t even get contracts or any form of formal employment.
In order to reduce the consequences which are lurking as the world is recovering from the pandemic, UNCTAD launched a course on gender perspective and trade. They are aiming to raise awareness about the scale of the problem and help women to live better lives and get more opportunities.