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Policy paper

SPACE Gender and Social Protection in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges

31 May 2021 — By Laura Alfers, Rebecca Holmes, Clare McCrum, and Lar Quarterman

This paper analyses the potential contribution of social protection to a gender-transformative economic recovery over the medium term, defined as running from the present to the end of 2022. It builds on the existing Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19 Expert (SPACE) advice publication; SPACE Social Protection in the COVID-19 Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges. Over the next two years (2021-2), economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis will be a key focus for governments and international organisations. Although taking place under challenging circumstances, including that of the climate crisis, this moment presents an important opportunity to design economic recovery plans that take into consideration the specific impacts of the crisis on women and put in place measures to support women in re-establishing economic security. This piece is intended as a tool for evidence-based, inclusive policy responses, and to equip gender equality and social protection actors to better advocate for a gender-transformative recovery.


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