78% of women are employed in sectors affected by the health crisis – Awdhesh

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The Active Entrepreneurs Initiative, promoted by UN Women, focuses on increasing employability and economic opportunities to guarantee the participation of women in the world of work.

By Maria Jose Torres

Santiago de Chile.- It is no secret to anyone that two years after the start of the pandemic, the socioeconomic consequences have been very profound globally, especially in the labor market. Chile is no exception, and has suffered a sharp drop in the participation and employment rates of both men and women and, as in the rest of the world, with a greater emphasis on women.

Although there is currently a gradual improvement in employment indicators, which is in line with the economic reactivation that accompanies the opening of economic activities and the decrease in infections, the recovery has been uneven. The labor participation rates of women have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, reaching figures close to 48%, which means a setback in more than 18 years, according to United Nations (ECLAC) figures. In addition to the above, about 78% of women are employed in sectors affected by the crisis, including social services, commerce, service industry, business services and transportation, storage and communications; including, by the way, entrepreneurs. Of every ten new companies created or managed by men, women create or manage less than seven.

In this framework, since 2021, as UN Chile we have been implementing the Women Employ inter-agency project in which UN Women, ILO, ECLAC and FAO participate, which seeks to promote the incorporation or reincorporation of women into the labor market, especially young women. The initiative focuses on increasing employability and economic opportunities to ensure women’s participation in the world of work and, at the same time, strengthen care systems, one of the main barriers to entry for women.

In this context, we have established a network of public and private partners to promote sustainable employment plans for women and young women at the national and local levels. Today, together with CORFO and ProChile, we launched ActivaEmpresarias, a platform to connect the supply of businesswomen who provide goods and services with the demand of national and international companies. A perfect and unprecedented match to promote female inclusion, based mainly on companies run by women and the vast majority of which are micro or small companies.

I take advantage of inviting entrepreneurs, businesswomen and women business leaders to add their institutions to this initiative and thus also contribute to the socioeconomic recovery and the acceleration of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Well, as our Secretary General, António Guterres, has argued, “a sustainable and egalitarian recovery will only be possible if it is a feminist recovery (…) We have to progress economically with selective investments in education, employment, training and job creation decent for women. Because when you invest in expanding opportunities for women and girls, we all win.

María José Torres is Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Chile

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