The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women in Vulnerable Sectors and Economies

Authored by: World Trade Organization

Categories: Global Public Health, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Participation, Economic Recovery, Human Development
Region: No Region
Year: 2020
Citation: "The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women in Vulnerable Sectors and Economies." World Trade Organization. August 2020.

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Executive Summary

Although the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic is still emerging, early evidence suggests that the pandemic is likely to hit women disproportionately hard. The impact on women is likely to exceed that of past crises because of COVID-19 safety measures, and to affect many sectors with a larger share of female employees, and the crisis is likely to have a particularly negative impact on women in low-income countries. This information note explores why the economic impact is likely to affect women disproportionately.

As economies emerge from the pandemic crisis, governments may find economic recovery strengthened if they specifically address the constraints faced by women. For example, in some sectors, teleworking has proved to be a tool to mitigate the impact of the crisis, but access to digital connections and IT skills rates are much lower for women in certain economies. In addition, lower financial resources and inequality of access to public funds put the survival of women’s businesses at greater risk.