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ITUC says women lost $800b to COVID-19 in one year

By Collins Olayinka and Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
02 November 2021   |   4:20 am
To the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), women recorded the biggest loss – a whopping $800 billion – to the rampaging COVID-19 within one year.

ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow

Group claims pandemic widening gender inequality in Nigeria

TO the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), women recorded the biggest loss – a whopping $800 billion – to the rampaging COVID-19 within one year.

ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, who disclosed this yesterday in a statement obtained by The Guardian, briefed the G20 meeting that while commitments to gender equality were welcomed, he, however, reminded the leaders that urgent actions were needed to ameliorate the huge loss of income during the first year of the pandemic.

The amount, she noted, was equivalent of the combined wealth of 98 countries. Burrow insisted that a high-level consensus from the G20 leaders backed with national action plans to create jobs was urgently required.

The global agency maintained that inequality, the virus and global warming have exposed workers to the greatest social and economic shocks in a generation.

Burrow said the G20 leaders recognised that the global health and economic crisis had affected billions of lives and endangered progress made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

She added: “We are in a race against time. Put in place action plans to deliver on G20 commitments. Five hundred and seventy-five million jobs are needed by 2030 to stabilise the economy, with just transition plans to create climate-friendly jobs and keep the world on a pathway to 1.5 degrees Celsius reduction in global temperatures.”

On COVID-19 vaccine, ITUC urged support for global vaccinations with the aim of vaccinating 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by mid-2022 as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Burrow cautioned that universal access to vaccines requires fundamental changes to intellectual property rights and investment in vaccine manufacturing in developing countries.

SIMILARLY, the Nigeria Health Watch (NHW), yesterday, said the pandemic was worsening the marginalisation of women in the country.
The group lamented that though gender equality still remains a fundamental issue in 2021, it has, however, been more in the limelight because of the novel Coronavirus.

Managing Director, NHW’s Managing Director, Vivianne Ihekweazu, who expressed the concern in a statement, explained that the continued sidelining of women nationwide formed the basis of the “Future of Health Conference” being put together by the public health advocacy group.

The two-day event with focus on amplifying gender discourse holds from November 3 to 4, themed “Breaking Glass Ceilings: Gender Equality For Sustainable Development.”

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