April 26

Analysis: COVID-19 Shows Need to Close Financial Inclusion Gender Gap

In many parts of the world, women have had less access to financial services than men for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenge.

At the onset of the pandemic, more women than men lost jobs. Sectors that absorb women workers such as tourism and personal services were hardest hit.

In 2019, women accounted for 53% of jobs in accommodation and food service activities. By 2020, international travel receipts, excluding passenger transport, had declined by 63% from the previous year, dealing a heavy blow to these sectors. Income losses suffered by women migrant workers in the services sectors were particularly severe.

According to the World Bank, remittance flows to developing countries in 2021 are projected to decline by roughly $78 billion, relative to 2019. This amounts to a projected drop of above 7% for both 2020 and 2021.

Losses in remittances have an indirect impact on women’s economic empowerment in their countries of origin. Remittances are often used for food, health and other social services for the benefit of a family.

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Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (link opens in a new window)

Coronavirus, Finance, Health Care
financial inclusion, remittances