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Crisis fix for women

Mar 10, 2009

In its new publication: Global Employment Trends for Women, ILO warns the economic crisis could generate up to 22 million more unemployed women in 2009. Noting that the downturn has hit women harder, the report says that the trend can be arrested if governments adopt gender equity policies.

Global Employment Trends for Women

Publisher: International Labour Organization, 2009

ILO women 2009.jpg

This publication says that the global financial crisis will hurt women more than men, eroding previous years’ equality gains in the workplace and at home.

The report predicts the global unemployment rate for women could reach between 6.5 and 7.4 per cent, compared with 6.1 to 7 per cent for men (the figures for women in 2007 and 2008 were 6 per cent and 6.3 per cent).

Analysing several scenarios for the year, the report says men too will feel the recession’s impact but women will face “multiple disadvantages’’.

For instance, women would be more likely to be forced to take up low-paid informal and vulnerable jobs, with the threat of the sack hanging constantly over their heads.

The recession will be more “detrimental” to women than to men in most regions of the world, and most clearly in Latin America and the Caribbean, the report suggests.

The regions where women would suffer the least are East Asia, the developed countries and the nations of southeast Europe outside the European Union. These regions, the report says, had narrower gender gaps in job opportunities before the crisis struck.

The report urges “creative solutions” to address the gender gap such as:

  • Sustainable and quality jobs open to both men and women
  • Broader social protection for women, including unemployment benefits and insurance schemes that recognise the gender’s vulnerable position in the labour market
  • Inclusion of women in decision-making processes
Source : ILO
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