The Big Opportunity: From Crisis to the Transformation of Women's Employment

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Apr 2021
From a macro perspective, women's employment in Latin America and the Caribbean has made positive strides during the 21st Century. Nevertheless, this growing involvement in the labor market has taken place in a context of disadvantage and inequality, which is evidenced by higher levels of unemployment, occupational segregation, and a gender pay gap, among other things. Added to this is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has destroyed employment like no other crisis and has especially impacted women, exposing the vulnerabilities of the region's labor markets and threatening to undo the advances made in closing gender-based economic gaps in the last three decades.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world of work, setting the stage for new opportunities to support, improve, and increase womens integration into the
labor market. It has also provided a powerful stimulus in specific areas where the gender perspective will be crucial for closing the gaps between men and women. In addition, equality and diversity in the labor market provide myriad benefits to the public and private sectors.
Recovering lost employment in Latin America and the Caribbean will be an enormous challenge, and as such, it requires significant actions, especially if we
seek to ensure that women are not left behind and to make the most of the opportunity to rebuild a fairer labor market. This publication presents a set of actions that can be taken to continue advancing in closing the gender gap in the context of the new normal, reactivating businesses, enhancing women's skills and modernizing regulations.