Global Resources

Emerging Issue: The Gender Perspectives of the Financial Crisis

Publisher: United Nations [UN] Division for the Advancement of Women
Publication Date: Mar 2009
Through a series of different documents, this website link reports on an interactive panel at the Commission on the Status of Women, 2009, on the gender perspectives of the global economic crisis. Some of the points made were:
? Economic recessions put a disproportionate burden on women, who are more likely to be made redundant than men (as men are traditionally considered to be the main ?breadwinners?), and have unequal access to and control over economic and financial resources.
? Increasing unemployment and decreasing household incomes means that women and girls often need to take on unpaid work, including care-giving. Women may also be forced into informal employment, where they have few rights and restricted social protection and benefits.
? Cuts in public spending in the light of economic crises, for example in the areas of health and education, can reduce women's and girls' access to basic services.
? Girls may be withdrawn from schools to help with household work during times of economic crisis, reinforcing gender gaps in education.

Some of the panel's recommendations were;
? Governments, international organisations and civil society, including the private sector, should play an active role in ensuring that financial and economic crises do not have a disproportionate negative impact on women and girls.
? Policy responses to financial crises should be people-centred and focus on employment, sustainability and gender equality. They should aim to enhance productivity, in particular in agriculture, a critical sector for women in developing countries.
? Women's capacity as entrepreneurs should be strengthened.
? Gender responsive budgeting should be conducted as a strategy for responding to the different priorities and needs of women and men.
? Public funds should be invested in care services that reduce women's unpaid domestic and care work and design policies that promote equal sharing of responsibilities between men and women.