gender history in the Atlantic region is flourishing but to a remarkable degree retains its marginal status both within the region's historiography and within Canadian women's history. Currently, an estimated 110 million school-aged students are not in school due to temporary school closures occurring across the region (UNICEF, 2020[7]). It has intensified the perception that men’s jobs (as head of household) should take priority over women’s jobs in times of crisis. In the UAE, government guarantees have been deployed for SMEs, while in Tunisia, a TND 300 million (USD 103 million) fund was set up for financial facilities to support and promote SMEs. The online survey was administered between 17-27 March 2020. The note has been reviewed and edited by Vanessa Berry-Chatelain. While informal employment is a greater source of jobs for men (69%) than women (62%) (Bonnet, 2019[70]), the over-representation of women in the most vulnerable categories of informal employment highlights the need for more tailored measures to ensure that women are sufficiently included in the economic response. The National Union of Moroccan Women (UNFM) has designed a downloadable application on smartphones that allows to locate the address of a victim of violence in the event of a distress call. ← 28. [55] Oxfam (2020), Life under lockdown: part I, (accessed on 17 April 2020). [8] ITU (2019), Measuring Digital Development. The mobilisation of resources for the COVID-19 health emergency response may lead to disruptions in the provision of key health services for women and girls, including reproductive and sexual health. In Tunisia, the major workers’ and employers’ organisations (UGTT and UTICA) reached an agreement with the government to continue paying full wages to employees in several sectors28 where women make up an important share of the workforce, including agriculture and garment manufacturing. UN Women Jordan is providing technical assistance and strategic guidance to national stakeholders in charge of designing and implementing the government’s response on integrating a gender perspective, collecting sex-disaggregated data and analysing macroeconomic indicators through a gender lens. A survey of midwives in Tunisia revealed that approximately 50% of sexual and reproductive health services had reduced or suspended their operations since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis (UN Women, 2020[59]). The International Labour Organisation and Amnesty International have expressed serious concerns about the situation of domestic workers in the MENA region18. However, this has not yet been reflected in the government’s strategy. [65] Trevo, B. The note has been drafted by Charlotte Goemans under the supervision of Carlos Conde with support from Sabrina Gasparrini, Yasmeen Moreau and Peilin Lu. While this can contribute to alleviating burdens on fragile households and businesses, the gender digital gap must be taken into consideration when designing technology-driven initiatives to ensure that they can effectively target those who need them the most. ← 4. ← 8. [86] UN Women (2018), Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) in MENA Region, [48] UN Women (2020), Women’s Needs and Gender Equality in Egypt’s COVID-19 Response, This includes reforming the social security systems and in particular developing non-contributory targeted public social protection schemes (such as cash transfer programmes) (UNESCWA, 2019[40]). The Ministry of ICT also launched a package of educational programmes to support women in the areas of e-marketing and e-commerce. Knowledge or appreciation of Nigeria in terms of its political, economic and social trends plus a good understanding of the key development and humanitarian issues in the region; Key Attributes: Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences and gender issues, as well as the commitment to equal opportunities. While MENA governments have stepped up their efforts to provide effective remote learning conditions, significant gaps remain in terms of availability of and access to online learning tools, especially in remote and rural areas. innocent people, particularly women and girls in the Region. Follow our work on @EU_ScienceHub @URBACT #GenderEqualCities Furthermore, women in the MENA region tend to enjoy less job security than men and will be more vulnerable to worsening working conditions during the crisis. Technology is playing an important role in crisis response, and women and girls’ access to and use of technology should be taken into account. Creating space for women’s voices, needs and capacities is a necessary step towards building better cities and regions. It shows that GDP is higher in regions where women are less disadvantaged and that a government is of a higher quality when more women are involved. In Tunisia, many domestic workers are being deprived of income and have to live in cramped apartments with higher risks of infection. [87] OECD (2019), Enabling Women’s Economic Empowerment: New Approaches to Unpaid Care Work in Developing Countries, OECD Publishing, Paris, These issues may be compounded if teachers lack the necessary digital skills to offer optimal learning conditions online. Note: This figure presents gaps between women’s and men’s access to education through ratios of women to men in tertiary-level education in 2012 and 2017. ← 6. In the Palestinian Authority, the government has created a national fund to support daily wage earners and informal sector businesses. However, region-specific restrictive social norms and legal frameworks exacerbate the obstacles faced by women in the MENA region. A study from Care on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa found that during the health crisis, girls whose mothers were infected were forced to take over their care-giving responsibilities (Care, 2020[6]), which may hinder their possibility of returning to school. Therefore, all institutions collecting data on the crisis should integrate a gender equality perspective, alongside other intersected elements of vulnerability (e.g. These concerns are compounded by the prevalence of discriminatory social norms in the region supporting the belief that men, as head of household, should have greater access to jobs than women when work opportunities are scarce (UN Women/Promundo, 2017[21]). [33] ILO (2008), International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), Rev.4, Interview with Ms. Hayet Khaled, Advisor, Tunisian Ministry of women, the family, children and seniors. The MENA region has the highest rate of youth unemployment (aged 15-24) worldwide, at 26.9% on average in 2019, and as high as 42.8% for female youth (World Bank, 2019[13]) Moreover, it is estimated that over 75% of youth in the region work informally (ILO, 2016[14]).The issue of female vulnerability in the informal sector is covered below. Despite progress, social protection systems are not well developed in the region (Figure 5). While globally, fatality rates are higher for men, the socio-economic impacts of the crisis are particularly severe for women (OECD, 2020[1]). In the Palestinian Authority, the Ministry of Social Development and the private sector launched an ILS 17 million (USD 4.85 million) national Fund, Waqfet Izz, to provide financial assistance to support the most vulnerable families, including refugees and workers affected by the pandemic. In Algeria, for example, many families have revised their domestic workers’ working schedule as a result of their confinement situations. Women and girls in internal displacement., Men have also been posting pictures of themselves cooking on social media, however, it was reported that this was done as a joke rather than to genuinely help in the household. Across the region, women have lower rates of financial inclusion than men. The Nordic countries have worked together for over four decades to improve gender equality in all aspects of society. [61] OECD (2016), 2015 OECD recommendation of the council on gender equality in public life., OECD, Paris. Unemployment and sick leave benefits have also been extended in several countries. Containment measures implemented in most MENA countries to curb the spread of the pandemic will increase women’s unpaid care work as they will have to shoulder the additional burden of home schooling and taking care of the sick and the elderly. [6] Care (2020), Gender analysis: Prevention and response to Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While women are not explicitly targeted by these measures, it is likely that they will largely benefit from them as they are over-represented among vulnerable households. [83] OECD (2019), SIGI 2019 Global Report: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities, Social Institutions and Gender Index, OECD Publishing, Paris, Several international organisations, including ILO, UNIDO, IFC and UN Women, are gathering sex disaggregated data through surveys on how MENA women entrepreneurs and their businesses are affected by the crisis as well as on their needs and demands to help them cope with the crisis. If female politicians have no autonomy or room to maneuver there will, most likely, be no signs of improvements.”, Lena Wängnerud, Professor in Representive Democracy, Parliamentary Studies, Gender Studies, University of Gothenburg, “Challenging our changing European landscape from a gender perspective, is key to making a better Europe possible. ← 21. Efforts undertaken in recent years by many MENA countries have allowed an increased number of disadvantaged women in the region to benefit from some form of social safety net. have been launched in several countries. In Tunisia, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is providing training and coaching to women entrepreneurs using online platforms. [12] UN Women (2020), The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality in the Arab States, (accessed on 17 April 2020). This has been accompanied by a circular of the Attorney General of the Court of Cassation requesting the judicial police to open immediate records for all reported domestic violence cases, including those without witnesses. This paper is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD. In Jordan, following the government’s decision to suspend all private and public enterprises, the Teachers’ Union set up a fund of approximately USD 705,000 to support workers who lost income due to the pandemic. Jordan is also considering online enrolment to accelerate the registration of the additional 25,000 households under the Takaful social assistance programme. [58] UNFPA (2020), Arab States Region COVID-19 Situation Report No.1, There is a pressing need for producing gender and age-disaggregated data on the crisis. While the majority of entrepreneurs in the region are men (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2019[27]), women-owned businesses in the MENA region are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the current crisis, for several reasons. Distribution campaigns of basic necessities (food, hygiene products, etc.) On average, MENA women allocate 89% of their working day to unpaid care work, leaving them barely any time to work for pay, compared to 20% for their male counterparts (Charmes, 2019[50]). Teaching professions in the region have been increasingly feminised over the past decades (see figure 4 below), which put women at the forefront of the educational challenges linked to the crisis. Qatar has recently adopted laws on the protection of domestic workers. There are interesting features of voting behaviour by gender, age, ethnicity and region from the 1997 election. These concerns were reported by The Guardian on 16 April 2020, in an article available at: Almost 62% of women in the region are informally employed14 in unregistered jobs generally lacking basic social or legal protection and employment benefits (ILO, 2018[31]). 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