During a webinar on Gender, trade and jobs in times of Covid, the World Trade Organization (WTO) official praised the joint efforts with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to study how to contribute to the recovery economy, after the pandemic, is more inclusive.
Data shows the world has lost the equivalent of 137 million full-time jobs since the end of 2019, with low- and lower-middle-income countries hit particularly hard.
Although previous recessions have led to greater job losses for men than for women, this time it was different as Covid-19 has a disproportionately adverse effect on women’s labor market outcomes, the ILO said.
Women lost more than 64 million jobs in 2020, a loss of five percent, compared to 3.9 for men.
Ellard said that the challenge is to ensure that the recovery compensates for this expansion of gender inequality, and trade can be an important tool to achieve decent employment and greener and more prosperous economies.
She recalled that companies dedicated to international trade employ more women, pay them better and offer better working conditions.
They also provide job opportunities in the formal sector in developing countries, significantly reducing participation in unsafe working conditions in the informal sector.
They face greater obstacles than men in accessing the global market and the economic opportunities created by trade, so they clearly reap fewer benefits, she said.