COVID response: Gender equality
Evidence from past epidemics shows that gender-based inequalities determine how women´s and men’s health, economic equality, security and safety are affected during and after the crisis. Understanding the gender-differentiated impacts of disease outbreaks is fundamental to creating effective, equitable policies and interventions that leave no one behind.
Women in Moldova already face disproportionate challenges in terms of employment, which will only worsen with the pandemic. In Moldova, women earn on average 14.4 percent less than men in formal jobs. For many, their work is informal and part-time, lacking social protection, insurance coverage and access to healthcare. Many women risk losing their jobs or seeing their wages decrease because of increasing domestic burden and unpaid care work.
Women-led small and medium businesses, often lacking social safety nets and savings, are also expected to face greater challenges in accessing credit and support for rebuilding their own business. The pandemic could intensify economic dis-empowerment of women and increase gender gaps in employment. We are assessing the extent of these impacts and supporting the government to formulate tailored policies.
In Moldova, one in four women experience physical and/or psychological violence, mostly from their partners. During COVID-19, gender-based violence has increased due to restrictions of movements, lockdowns and quarantines. We are supporting the government with a range of measures to combat violence against women and girls in the home, from raising awareness to strengthening police and social systems to providing immediate assistance to women’s shelters. Given the profoundly gendered impacts of the pandemic, it is imperative to ensure equal participation in COVID-19 response. It is critical that women policymakers – in government, parliament, civil society and other sectors – shape policy and decisions.