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W20 Sherpa says coronavirus pandemic had ‘disproportionate impact’ on women

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The coronavirus pandemic had a disproportionate impact on women, Salma al-Rashed, the G20 Women 20 (W20) Sherpa said at a media briefing in Riyadh on Thursday.

Al-Rashed was speaking a media briefing titled “Paving the way post COVID-19: Unleashing the power of women in the economy,” at the G20 International Media Center in Riyadh.

“With COVID-19 causing mounting disruptions around the world, and having a disproportionate impact on women, it is important to address the gendered impact of the pandemic,” al-Rashed said.

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“This is also an opportunity for the G20 leaders to reset the economies through a more inclusive approach,” she added.

The W20, a G20 engagement group, aims to ensure that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translated into policies and commitments that foster gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, according to al-Rashed.

It also aims to highlight how critical the “full and equitable participation of women is for sustainable and faster socioeconomic recovery as we rebuild our economies post-COVID-19 era,” al-Rashed said at the media briefing.

“Enabling women’s potential fully and equally with men promotes sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth,” the W20 Sherpa said, adding that it also improves the representation of women within institutions.

Al-Rashed said “G20 leaders must commit and pave the way for an equitable economic recovery, where women are equal partners and key economic actors as an integral solution.”

On Wednesday, Dr. Hala al-Tuwaijri, chair of the Women’s Empowerment Team at Riyadh’s G20 summit, said Saudi Arabia has put women’s empowerment at “the core of its agenda.”

Al-Tuwaijri said this year’s G20 Women’s Empowerment Team “managed to work with all working streams so that all work streams address women’s empowerment.”

She also said that “the impact [of the coronavirus] on women is not the same as the impact on men, as women were disproportionally affected by the pandemic.”

Next week, Saudi Arabia will virtually host the G20 Leaders’ summit, where world leaders of the 20 biggest economies will meet on Saturday November 21 – Sunday, November 22, 2020.

Read more:

Meet Salma al-Rashid: Saudi Arabia’s Women 20 Sherpa

Saudi Arabia put women’s empowerment at the ‘core of its agenda,’ says G20 chair

At a glance: G20 Engagement Groups and their roles