The Covid-19 pandemic will disproportionately impact women and push 47 million more girls and women into extreme poverty by 2021, reversing decades of progress to lift this demographic above the poverty line, according to new data released by the UN.
The new analysis by the UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said the Covid-19 crisis will dramatically increase the poverty rate for women and widen the hole between women and men who live in poverty.
The poverty rate for women was once expected to diminish by 2.7 per cent between 2019 and 2021, but projections now point to an increase of 9.1 per cent because of the pandemic and its fallout.
The “pandemic will push 96 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, 47 million of whom are girls and women. This will increase the complete number of girls and women living in extreme poverty to 435 million, with projections showing that this number will not revert to pre-pandemic levels until 2030,” the UN agencies said.
The projections show that while the pandemic will affect global poverty in most cases, women will be disproportionately affected, particularly women of reproductive age. By 2021, for each 100 men aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty (living on USD 1.90 a day or less), there will be 118 women, a hole that is expected to increase to 121 women per 100 men by 2030.
“The increases in women’s extreme poverty are a stark indictment of deep flaws in the ways we have constructed our societies and economies,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said. “We realize that women take lots of the responsibility for taking care of the circle of relatives; they earn less, save less and hold much less protected jobs – in truth, overall, women’s employment is 19 per cent more at risk than men’s,” Mlambo-Ngcuka added.
She said that the evidence of more than one inequalities is critical to driving swift, restorative policy action that puts women at the heart of pandemic recovery.
While the pandemic has posed a serious threat to the prospects of eradicating extreme poverty by the end of this decade, the reality is even grimmer as these projections of increased poverty rates for girls and women only account for the downward revision of the gross domestic product (GDP), except for other factors—such as women leaving the workforce because of childcare responsibilities—that might also impact the sex distribution of poverty.
“More than 100 million girls and women could be lifted out of poverty whether governments execute a comprehensive strategy aimed at bettering access to education and circle of relatives planning, reasonable and equal wages, and expanding social transfers,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said.
He famous with concern that women are bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis as they’re much more likely to lose their source of income and no more likely to be covered by social protection measures. “Making an investment in reducing gender inequality is not just smart and affordable but also an pressing choice that governments can make to reverse the affect of the pandemic on poverty discount,” he added.
The fallout of the pandemic will shift forecasts of extreme poverty across regions. The outline said that Central and Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (where 87 per cent of the world’s extreme naughty live) will see the largest increases in extreme poverty, with an extra 54 million and 24 million people, respectively, living below the international poverty line on account of the pandemic.
“The expected rise of poverty in South Asia on account of the economic fallout of the pandemic showcases the vulnerability of girls and women living in households that have only recently been ready to escape poverty,” it said.
The pre-pandemic female poverty rate in South Asia was once projected to be 10 per cent in 2021 but is now expected to succeed in 13 per cent. In addition, before the pandemic, projections for the region suggested that by 2030 only 15.8 per cent of the world’s naughty girls and women would be living in South Asia. The revised projections now put that figure at 18.6 per cent.
“Significantly more women than men in South Asia will be affected. In the 25-34 age group, there will be 118 naughty women for each 100 naughty men in that region, and that ratio will increase to 129 women for each 100 men by 2030,” the data said.
The outline famous that while these figures are alarming, the study estimates it would take just 0.14 per cent of global GDP – USD 2 trillion – to lift the world out of extreme poverty by 2030; and USD 48 billion to shut the gender poverty hole. Then again, the real number could end up being much higher, particularly whether governments fail to act—or act too late. The unabated rise of other pre-existing gender inequalities will also affect these figures. Women are employed in one of the most most affected sectors, like accommodation, food services and products, and domestic work. They’ve been especially vulnerable to layoffs and loss of livelihood.
Recommendations to prevent women from falling in the back of permanently on account of the pandemic range from addressing occupational segregation, gender pay gaps and insufficient access to affordable childcare to introducing economic toughen packages for vulnerable women to countries increasing social protection measures targeting girls and women and expanding research and data to be had on the gendered impacts of Covid-19.