Saturday, December 5, 2020

Recommendations for the U.S. Government 3/3

1. Ensure all global response and recovery efforts comply with the gender analysis and integration requirement of the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Actxv (Section 3(c)) by making funds immediately available and directed towards efforts including, but not limited to: 

a. Additional personnel and technical assistance to conduct and integrate gender analyses as defined in Sec 3(c) of the WEEE Act into response and recovery efforts; and 

b. Ensure programs address the different impacts of the crisis on all genders, including on their employment, income, access to social safety nets and financial services, gender-based violence, property rights and security of land tenure, the capability to fully exercise their rights and influence decision-making, access to agricultural extension services and other support, access to education, and other factors affecting women’s and girls’ economic empowerment.

 2. Prioritize the safe and meaningful involvement of women, girls, and other marginalized populations in decision-making processes related to COVID-19 responses, relief delivery, and recovery at all levels. This means proactively ensuring women and girls are included on leadership bodies, and women and girls are actively engaged in developing communityand context-specific responses, and consulted through the various stages of program design, implementation, and evaluation. 

3. Fund and implement programming to address the specific economic impacts on women globally, especially lower income, migrant, and other marginalized women. This support should include the informal and formal sectors, and should expand funding to existing programs for the following: 

a. Maintaining and expanding existing cash transfer and broader subsidy programs, while also removing conditionality linked to girls attending school or families delaying daughters’ marriage, to ensure alreadyvulnerable women, girls, and their households are not driven deeper into poverty as a result of COVID-19; 

b. Supporting women as entrepreneurs and workers through stop-gap financing measures to firms experiencing losses due to COVID-19. Measures should include resources for women entrepreneurs to pivot their businesses to e-commerce, promote remote working, and expand into high-demand markets due to COVID-19, as well as funding for financing and capital to support economic recovery. These efforts must include outreach to women and other marginalized populations to ensure they have meaningful access to financing, capital, and other financial services at the same rate as men; 

c. Prioritizing consumer protection safeguards, especially at microfinance level, to ensure women are not driven into a cycle of debt in response to COVID-19. Where possible, prioritize cash- and savings-led approaches to support very poor populations; 

d. Ensuring supply chains take measures to promote women’s job security in light of the instability resulting from COVID-19 and enact protections to prevent the exploitation of women, girls, and marginalized populations that may be exacerbated under COVID-crisis circumstances. This includes ensuring fair wages, decent work conditions, and other protections are in place for workers both in the workplace as well as those working from home; 

e. Investing in training, skills development, and job placement programs for women to access jobs in industries responsive to COVID-19 (e.g., health care product manufacturing, information and communications technology, and food and accommodations); 

f. Addressing and minimizing disruptions to girls’ education and taking special measures to ensure that girls return to school so that their future economic opportunities are not diminished; g. Investing in technological solutions to promote women’s employment and entrepreneurship during the COVID19 crisis, including funding and skills building to narrow the gender digital divide and increase women’s access to digital tools and platforms; and 4 h. Ensuring any agricultural financial and technical assistance targets women farmers and agricultural workers, including small-scale farms, and promote increased access to labor-saving, women-friendly technology. Provide food assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable populations during this crisis. 

4. Integrate a gender-based violence prevention and mitigation plan as well as ‘Do No Harm’ principles into all COVID-19 emergency response funding and action plans. Funding should be directed to support ongoing gender-based violence programming to increase prevention and to support survivors in the face of likely increases in gender-based violence, such as domestic or intimate partner violence during social distancing and lockdowns or increased rates of child marriage due to economic hardship or other factors. 

5. Allocate funding to ensure that social services such as health, education, and other care-related functions can continue at levels prior to the disease outbreak, anticipating that countries whose economies have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 will not be able to fund social services at the same levels. Debt relief measures and other financing cannot come at the expense of social service expenditure. 

6. Continue and increase support for longer-term initiatives that advance gender-equitable social norms and infrastructure, such as childcare services and programs to support involvement of men and boys in household duties, particularly given their additional time at home under stay-at-home measures, to alleviate women and girls’ disproportionate unpaid care burdens. These measures should also support prevention of gender-based discrimination and violence and promote women’s voice and leadership at all levels. 

7. Require rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and learning, including the use of standard indicators to assess the extent to which U.S. Government strategies, projects, activities, and programs responding to COVID-19 either widen or narrow gender gaps in the economy and more broadly. Prioritize the collection of gender- and age-disaggregated data from foreign assistance programs addressing COVID-19 impacts, and additional accountability mechanisms to ensure implementation.

cweee_covid_and_wee_brief_final.pdf (

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