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UNDP Global

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Protecting Women's Livelihoods in Times of Pandemic: Temporary Basic Income and the Road to Gender Equality

Mar 4, 2021

Women face persistent structural challenges to decent jobs and economic independence. Now their livelihoods are even more vulnerable because of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This vulnerability is due in part to a system of gender inequality that imposes unpaid care and domestic work on women through socially constructed gender norms, and that deprives women of effective universal protection systems. How can we cushion the adverse effects during the COVID-19 crisis while paving the way for structural transformation? This policy brief, part of UNDP's Development Future Series, examines the most at-risk elements of women's income-generation capacity, presents the possibilities and estimated costs of a temporary basic income (TBI) for women's economic security across the developing world, and discusses options for long-term commitments of economic protection and gender equality.