This paper considers various dimensions and sources of gender inequality and presents policies and best practices to address these. With women accounting for fifty percent of the global population, inclusive growth can only be achieved if it promotes gender equality. Despite recent progress, gender gaps remain across all stages of life, including before birth, and negatively impact health, education, and economic outcomes for women. The roadmap to gender equality has to rely on legal framework reforms, policies to promote equal access, and efforts to tackle entrenched social norms. These need to be set in the context of arising new trends such as digitalization, climate change, as well as shocks such as pandemics.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a uniquely severe synchronized shock across the global economy, in turn leading numerous member countries to request substantial financial assistance from the Fund. The Executive Board responded to members’ needs by increasing the access limits under the Fund’s emergency financing instruments by 50 percent of quota for a period of 6 months (until October 5, 2020), subject to a possible extension by the Executive Board.