‘Implement measures for inclusive recovery’

THE government and the private sector were urged to put in place measures to help ensure gender inclusive economic recovery.

“Women represent almost 90 percent of workers in some of the hardest hit sectors such as apparel and care. Ensuring their health care, well-being and safety is key to accelerate economic recovery,” said Rosalyn Mesina, WeEmpowerAsia Program manager in the Philippines, in a virtual roundtable on Tuesday.

Mesina said the coronavirus pandemic is putting the achievement of the sustainable
development goals (SDGs) at stake, especially for women and girls.

She cited, in particular, the decline in resources, reduction in food from subsistence farming, increase in mental and physical health concerns, prolonged care work or increased unpaid domestic work and decreased income from paid work.

To help address these, Mesina said the government should ensure women’s voices are heard; review the implementation of all laws, including the updated Philippine Development Plan; provide gender-specific support services for women workers; strengthen inclusive online support systems; and support the adoption of Women’s Empowerment Principles Party among businesses and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Businesses, meanwhile, are urged to address unpaid care and domestic work through subsidized child care; support local firms in supply chains by guaranteeing payments; establish gender-responsive procurement practices; provide support services for women frontline workers; and adopt a gender inclusive corporate social responsibility programs and projects.

Development partners and civil society organizations are also enjoined to help ensure a gender inclusive recovery by ensuring women’s equal access to services and resources and promoting meaningful, participatory and inclusive consultations.

According to Mesina, ensuring the livelihoods of women will have wider benefits for the society.

The discussion was organized by the National Economic and Development Authority in coordination with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.