ILO Report: Women and the Economic Crisis

The economic crisis is expected to increase the number of unemployed women by up to 22 million in 2009, the International Labour Office (ILO) says in its annual Global Employment Trends for Women report, released in Geneva today, adding that the global jobs crisis is expected to worsen sharply with the deepening of the recession in 2009.

At the same time, the ILO also said that the global economic crisis would place new hurdles in the path toward sustainable and socially equitable growth making decent work for women increasingly more difficult, and called for “creative solutions” to address the gender gap.

The ILO issued the Global Employment Trends for Women in the run up to this year’s annual International Women’s Day, which is to be marked on 6 March at the ILO in Geneva.

The Global Employment Trends report indicates that of the 3 billion people employed around the world in 2008, 1.2 billion were women (40.4 per cent). It said that in 2009, the global unemployment rate for women could reach 7.4 per cent, compared to 7.0 per cent for men.

The report says that the gender impact of the economic crisis in terms of unemployment rates is expected to be more detrimental for females than for males in most regions of the world and most clearly in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It adds that the only regions where unemployment rates are expected to be less detrimental for women are East Asia, the developed economies and the non- EU South Eastern Europe and CIS which had narrower gender gaps in terms of job opportunities prior to the current economic crisis.

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