Opinion

Lifting women lifts economies

Since being specifically tasked to do so five years ago, state development agencies have poured billions of rands into empowering women in a range of businesses, writes Ebrahim Patel

09 August 2020 - 00:00 By Ebrahim Patel

We are living through extraordinary times - the Covid-19 pandemic is causing severe economic disruptions that strain working families. Recent data indicates that the US economy shrank by 33% in the past quarter, the worst contraction since records were first compiled. In May, the Bank of England projected that the UK may have the sharpest economic output decline in 300 years.

We are not alone in this, but that is cold comfort in a society with fewer buffers than wealthier, more developed economies. Women are particularly vulnerable economically. Their position in the labour market is less secure. They earn less than men doing the same work, and so have less to save. Women are more likely to be single parents. And women bear most of the responsibility in the home, in health care and social service, at schools, in caring for our elderly and in other forms of unpaid work...

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