In 2020, the United Nations declared 18 September to be the International Equal Pay Day. Striving for Gender Equality is one of the key aims tracked by the UN – Sustainable Development Goal 5 specifically aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls worldwide.
Even before the full social and economic impacts of COVID-19 are realised, the 2020 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report suggested it would take a further 99.5 years to achieve gender parity, and research since has shown that fallout from the pandemic has adversely affected women even more. An updated McKinsey Global Institute Report warns that not taking gender-responsive actions during the pandemic could lead to a $1 trillion loss in global GDP by 2030.
Based on economic data that has been released during the past 12 months, we have seen that the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities around the world, including gender inequalities. As companies seek to find an edge in the recovery from COVID-19, we cannot miss more opportunities to fully realise the enormous economic potential of women and girls. To advance gender equality, Australia is working with regional partners where 75%-90% of market vendors are women to install sanitation and safety equipment to limit the spread of COVID-19.