The United Nations has called on member nations to intensify efforts to curb the increasing gap of poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports say progress made in recent decades would go in vain if nothing is done to suppress the poverty situation by the end of 2020.
The humanitarian body says, the coronavirus pandemic will widen the poverty gap between women and men, pushing 47 million more women and girls into impoverished lives by next year.
The report states that, worldwide, more women than men will be made poor by the economic fallout and significant job losses caused by COVID-19, with informal workers worst hit in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, according to new UN estimates. “The increases in women’s extreme poverty are a stark indictment of deep flaws in our societal and economic structures.” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of UN Women, said in a statement.
Women are also more likely to work in the informal economy, typically in jobs as domestic workers and cleaners that often come with little or no healthcare, unemployment benefits or other protections. “We know that women take most of the responsibility for caring for the family; they earn less, save less and hold much less secure jobs,” Mlambo-Ngcuka, added.
The UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO), has revealed that about 70 percent of domestic workers globally had lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 by June this year.
Overall, the pandemic will push another 96 million people into extreme poverty by next year, of whom nearly half are women and girls, according to estimates by UN Women and the UN’s Development Programme (UNDP). This will bring the total number of women and girls worldwide living in extreme poverty to 435 million and it is expected this figure will not revert to pre-pandemic levels until 2030