Covid-19 Pandemic Interrupting Efforts to Achieve Gender Equality: UN

    Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 21 October 2020 14:00 WIB
    Covid-19 Pandemic Interrupting Efforts to Achieve Gender Equality: UN
    Illustration (Photo:Medcom.id)
    Jakarta: The United Nations (UN) has warned that the covid-19 pandemic is interrupting efforts to achieve gender equality and threatening to reverse hard-won gains over the past decades.

    "Women are far from having an equal voice to men", said  Liu Zhenmin, chief of the UN’s economic and social affairs department (DESA) in a press release issued on Tuesday.

    "And, in every region of the world, women are still subjected to various forms of violence and harmful practices," the DESA chief stated.

    Introducing the 2020 edition of The World’s Women: Trends and Statistics, he said that over the last two decades, attitudes of discrimination are slowly changing and women’s lives have improved with regard to education, early marriage, childbearing and maternal mortality, all while progress has stagnated in other areas. 

    Overall, progress continues to fall far short of what Member States committed themselves to, at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women.

    Liu pointed out that while the coronavirus pandemic is having devastating social and economic impacts across the world, women are fighting on the front lines in healthcare settings, in home care, in the family and in the public sphere.

    Moreover, he pointed out that women face reduced access to sexual and reproductive health services; and need more time to care for the elderly, sick and children, including home-based education; adding that they are also at higher risk of infection than men in the workplace.

    In terms of power and decision making, World’s Women 2020 revealed that last year, women held only 28 per cent of managerial positions globally – 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 corporate rankings, only 7.4 per cent, or 37 CEOs, were women.

    In political life, while women’s representation in parliaments worldwide has more than doubled globally, it has yet to cross the 25 per cent barrier of seats and although representation among cabinet ministers has quadrupled over the last 25 years, it remains at 22 per cent, well below parity.

    "Timeliness and comparability of data over time and across countries, need to be improved, and data disaggregation and dissemination by age, sex, location and other key variables, need to become a priority in order to fully measure and address intersecting inequalities, respond to crises, and ensure gender equality by 2030", he upheld.

    (WAH)

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