Women’s contributions to economic output and baseline economic welfare tend to be underestimated due the double injustice of unpaid care work and unpaid work. This double injustice denies women of the compensation, reward, recognition and upward income mobility that come with performing economic tasks – even when the output of those tasks is counted in official calculations. Most often, unpaid care work is neither formally counted as economic output, nor is it compensated. Instead, it is seen as women’s responsibility, due to their gender. This ultimately means that the immense amount of time, effort and skill women (and girls) put into the economy is invisible.
By Maria C. Lo Bue, Research Associate at UNU-WIDER, Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance, University of Bari; Tu Thi Ngoc Le, Tu Thi Ngoc Le, PhD in Economics, Hoa Sen University; Manuel Santos Silva, Postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Economics, University of Münster; and Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER; Professor of Development Economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
The gender pay-gap is one of the foremost indicators of gender inequality and thus a guide for women’s economic empowerment policies. Although there is abundant data available on the phenomenon in OECD economies, this is not the case for the majority of developing countries, where most workers are self-employed and do not receive a regular wage, making it difficult to measure “pay gaps for similar work”. In a recent study for the United Nations University, we took a different approach, examining the gender gap in vulnerable employment in 101 developing countries worldwide. The results have important implications for policymakers.
By Paola Simonetti, Deputy Director, Economic and Social Policy Department, ITUC
“People are no longer coming to the kiosk to buy tea since the pandemic outbreak started. I am the breadwinner of a family of nine. On many days I don’t earn a single shilling and return home empty handed”. This is the story of Jamila, a tea kiosk holder in Mogadishu, Somalia. Her story is also the story of around 2 billion informal workers worldwide who have been left to cope with the crisis on their own.
En 2011, Fatoumata Cissoko, jeune femme vivant en Guinée et diplômée en comptabilité, a lancé sa société de transformation de fruits secs avec 260 USD. Elle produit environ 16 tonnes d’ananas séché par an vendu dans de nombreux magasins et supermarchés de la capitale, Conakry, et d’autres villes du pays. Récemment, sa société a considérablement accru sa capacité de production pour améliorer sa compétitivité sur les marchés régionaux et internationaux. Fatoumata a également ouvert un restaurant bio pour compléter la chaîne de production et elle emploie directement 15 femmes. L’histoire de Fatoumata est un exemple des nombreuses opportunités d’emploi émergentes dans les systèmes alimentaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest.
By Jenny Larsen, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
Since COVID-19 emerged in late 2019, scientists have been poring over the data to understand better how the virus behaves and how to fight it. But studies show that many trials fail to take the sex of participants into account – meaning eagerly awaited vaccines or treatments could be less effective in the female population. Data from Global Health 50/50 show that as of December 2020 only 58 percent of COVID-19 cases reported by 186 countries had been disaggregated by sex, making it much harder to assess the impact of the virus across populations.
By Vani Saraswathi, Editor-at-Large and Director of Projects, Migrant-Rights.Org
The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states need to completely revamp past policies, and not merely attempt to bridge gaps or provide a salve to deep wounds.
As of February 2020, millions of migrants –– primarily from South and Southeast Asia and increasingly from East African countries –– were holding up Gulf economies, working in sectors and for wages unappealing to the more affluent citizens. In countries with per capita GDP of US$62,000 or more, minimum wages ranged as low as US$200 per month.
Dans la période difficile que nous traversons, un défi majeur se présente à nous : l’impact de la crise du COVID-19 sur les entreprises. Le Coronavirus marque le retour des frontières dans le monde. La tentation du repli national est forte. Et la Suisse n’y échappe pas. Pendant plusieurs semaines, nos frontières, terrestres et aériennes, ont été fermées. Cependant, avec plus de 30 000 frontaliers français travaillant dans le domaine de la santé en Suisse, il s’agit justement de l’ouverture de notre marché du travail qui s’est révélée être un atout précieux. En cette période de crise sanitaire, que feraient nos hôpitaux et nos cliniques sans cette main-d’œuvre?
In 2011, Fatoumata Cissoko, a graduate in accounting and a young woman living in Guinea, launched her dried-fruit processing company with USD 260. Her company produces about 16 tonnes of dried pineapple a year sold in many shops and supermarkets in the capital, Conakry, and other cities around the country. Recently, her company increased its production capacity substantially to improve its competitiveness in regional and international markets. Fatoumata also opened an organic restaurant to complete the production chain and she directly employs 15 women. The story of Fatoumata is one example of the many emerging job opportunities in West Africa’s food systems.
By José Manuel Salazar Xirinachs, Former Regional Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for Latin America and the Caribbean, and former Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica
This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide.
The damage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global lockdown crisis will be devastating, causing the worst disruption to labour markets in Latin America since the Great Depression. Up to 43 million people – probably more – could be unemployed in 2020. Tragically, the state of labour markets in the region was bad even before the crisis. Repairing the damage while addressing past structural legacies is possible, but it will be slow and challenging, and will require something most countries in the region have not done well in the past: a massive focus on microeconomic policies for accelerated productive transformation, and technological and human talent development.
Youth employment and job creation loom high on development agendas in West Africa. The issue is also a priority at the continental and international levels: decent work and youth empowerment are priority areas within the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and ‘youth and jobs in the Sahel’ will figure prominently amongst talks at the G7 Summit which begins this Saturday in Biarritz.
Such policy focus is necessary in view of the demographic realities in the region. Although unemployment is low overall, informality remains prevalent, and growing numbers of young people struggle to access attractive training or sources of income. West African economies need to create more and better jobs. Yet, from a policy perspective, how to support decent and inclusive job creation is not always clear. Trade-offs in public resource allocations across sectors and information gaps abound.