The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing gender inequalities and threatens to reverse recent gains made in closing the gender wage gap and the participation of women in manufacturing. Furthermore, young people are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions caused by the pandemic and many are now at risk of being left behind in education, training, economic opportunities, and health and wellbeing. Recovering from the crisis therefore requires that the knowledge, experience and great untapped potential of women and youth be placed front and center of global economic plans to assure an inclusive recovery and a sustainable future.
UNIDO invests in the economic empowerment of women and youth in sustainable industries and focuses on promoting future socio-economic inclusivity and resilience throughout its technical cooperation portfolio. In the context of the socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, support for branches of manufacturing that employ women and youth; entrepreneurship development and vocational training targeting women and youth; integration and support of female- and youth-led businesses in value chains; as well as bridging the technology gap between men and women, will be critical. UNIDO stands prepared to support its Member States in order to ensure an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that takes into account the specific needs and contributions of women and youth as active members of the economic sector.