By Antonio Guterres,
The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, everywhere.
But it affects different groups of people differently, deepening existing inequalities.
Early data indicates that the mortality rates from COVID-19 may be higher for men. But the pandemic is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls.
Today we are launching a report that shows how COVID-19 could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights – and recommends ways to put women’s leadership and contributions at the heart of resilience and recovery.
Nearly 60 per cent of women around the world work in the informal economy, earning less, saving less, and at greater risk of falling into poverty.
As markets fall and businesses close, millions of women’s jobs have disappeared.
At the same time as they are losing paid employment, women’s unpaid care work has increased exponentially as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people.
These currents are combining as never before to defeat women’s rights and deny women’s opportunities.
Gender equality and women’s rights are essential to getting through this pandemic together.
Progress lost takes years to regain. Teenage girls out of school may never return.
I urge governments to put women and girls at the centre of their efforts to recover from COVID-19.
That starts with women as leaders, with equal representation and decision-making power.
Click here to read the full article published by United Nations on 14 April 2020.