Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr. Sania Nishtar Tuesday said massive mending and rebuilding job would be required globally post COVID-19 with prioritizing gender related targets in all programs.
Dr. Sania Nishtar was speaking at Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting virtually with focused discussions on a woman-focused recovery for a more inclusive post-COVID 19 future.
The meeting held in Manila discussed that COVID-19 has wiped away a disproportionately higher share of women’s jobs, widening gender gaps in labor market access and increasing women’s vulnerability to poverty.
International experts and policy makers emphasized that Asia Pacific economies should address inequalities in women’s work to ensure a more inclusive ‘new normal’.
Speaking during the meeting, Dr. Sania stressed on the need for gender related targets in programs, highlighting the example of Ehsaas where there are specific time bound outcome based targets for gender mainstreaming evidenced in the Ehsaas 50% Plus Benefits (for women policy).
Dr. Sania said, “The world cannot afford to disregard what women—50% of its population—can bring to the table in terms of talents, skills, productive potential, and leadership acumen.”
In terms of social outcomes—we know that education and empowerment of women has a direct correlation with improved health education and social outcomes in a household.
Post-COVID-19 there is a massive mending and rebuilding job to be done and women just have to be a major part of this”, she further added.
Dr. Sania then stressed on the importance of data coupled with accountability action. She emphasized that there is no reason not to mandate data disaggregation by gender across all information sources and unearth stories that averages tend to hide.
“It is important to give greater weightage to gender related variables in the composite measures, which are the basis of league tables to monitor progress.
We need to reimagine the role of women in the workforce of a future system, which is being rapidly transformed by technology, digitization and burgeoning innovations.