UN / WORLD'S WOMEN 2020

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20-Oct-2020 00:01:14
Less than 50 per cent of working-age women are in the labour market, a figure that has barely changed over the last quarter of a century, according to a new UN report launched today. Unpaid domestic and care work falls disproportionately on women, restraining their economic potential as the COVID-19 pandemic additionally affects women’s jobs and livelihoods, the report warns. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / WORLD'S WOMEN 2020
TRT: 1:14
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 OCTOBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

20 OCTOBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations:
"Progress has stagnated in other areas, however. These include labour force participation and unequal distribution of unpaid domestic and care work thus harming women's economic potential. women are far from having an equal voice to men. And in every region of the world, women are still subjected to various forms of violence and harmful practices."
3. Med shot, slide in presentation
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations:
"We have a responsibility to ensure that actions to combat COVID-19 are responsive towards the unequal impacts on women and men. We also need to ensure that women are decision makers with a voice equal to that of men when responses to a crisis are decided."
5. Med shot, slide in presentation

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

6. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

STORYLINE:

Less than 50 per cent of working-age women are in the labour market, a figure that has barely changed over the last quarter of a century, according to a new UN report launched today. Unpaid domestic and care work falls disproportionately on women, restraining their economic potential as the COVID-19 pandemic additionally affects women’s jobs and livelihoods, the report warns.

The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics compiles 100 data stories that provide a snapshot of the state of gender equality worldwide. Presented on an interactive portal, the report analyses gender equality in six critical areas: population and families; health; education; economic empowerment and asset ownership; power and decision-making; and violence against women and the girl child as well as the impact of COVID-19.

In a press conference presenting the report today (20 Oct), UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said, over the last two decades, the lives of women improved in a number of areas including education, early marriage, and child maternity. He added that attitudes of discrimination are slowly changing, and protective legislation to ensure women's legal rights are increasing in many regions.

Lui stressed that progress has "stagnated in other areas, however. These include labour force participation and unequal distribution of unpaid domestic and care work thus harming women's economic potential. women are far from having an equal voice to men. And in every region of the world, women are still subjected to various forms of violence and harmful practices."

The Under-Secretary-General said the COVID-19 pandemic is further interrupting efforts to achieve gender equality and threatens to reverse hard-won gains over the past decades. He said women are on the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in healthcare settings, homecare, as well as in family and public spheres. He said many men and women may have been trapped in unsafe environments and are at risk of facing intimate partner violence during lockdowns. He added that women face reduced access to sexual and reproductive health services and increased time required to care for children and elder persons.

Lui said, "We have a responsibility to ensure that actions to combat COVID-19 are responsive towards the unequal impacts on women and men. We also need to ensure that women are decision makers with a voice equal to that of men when responses to a crisis are decided."

The report found that, while unpaid domestic and care work has intensified for both men and women during the COVID-19 pandemic, women continue to do the lion’s share. On an average day, women globally spend about three times as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men (4.2 hours compared to 1.7). In Northern Africa and Western Asia that gender gap is even higher, with women spending more than seven times as much as men on these activities.

This lopsided distribution of unpaid domestic and care work prevents women from participating in the labour market. In 2020, only 47 per cent of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to 74 per cent of men – a gender gap that has remained relatively constant since 1995. In Southern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia, the number is even lower, with less than 30 per cent of women participating in the labour market. And the pandemic is expected to exacerbate these gender disparities, as many women work in the subsectors hardest hit by COVID-19 and lockdown measures, including in paid domestic work, accommodation and food services, and the retail trade. Women also make up over 70 per cent of workers in the health sector, therefore facing higher infection risks than men in the workplace.

In terms of power and decision making, the report found that women held only 28 per cent of managerial positions globally in 2019 – almost the same proportion as in 1995. And only 18 per cent of enterprises surveyed had a female Chief Executive Officer in 2020. Among Fortune 500 corporations only 7.4 per cent, or 37 Chief Executive Officers, were women. In political life, while women’s representation in parliament has more than doubled globally, it has still not crossed the barrier of 25 per cent of parliamentary seats in 2020. Women’s representation among cabinet ministers has quadrupled over the last 25 years yet remains well below parity at 22 per cent.
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