Losing the ability to collect data may not be one of the more obvious negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, nearly all countries in the world found it difficult to gather data precisely when demand was highest. A recent global survey by the ILO has highlighted just how great the impact was on the production of labour statistics and how countries responded to meet user needs for data.
Over the years, considerable effort has been invested in improving the educational attainment of people worldwide, especially as part of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the enormous progress achieved in raising levels of education, especially among women and girls, has not translated into corresponding improvements in labour market outcomes.
The international migration of women, either together with their family or on their own, is an increasingly important and complex phenomenon but remains insufficiently documented owing to a lack of data. New ILOSTAT data offer some insights on the profile of women looking for work and better opportunities abroad.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the associated lockdowns, mobility restrictions and physical distancing rules, has not only led to a significant increase in unemployment and considerable income losses for many people, but has also altered the spending patterns of consumers and the level of price inflation that they face. In particular, the lockdown measures have affected the supply of and demand for certain products and, hence, their prices.
A workable balance is what parents are desperately trying to find in these uncertain times. Even in “normal” times, the balance between work and family has not been an easy one to achieve. The challenge is not new, especially for women. But the pandemic is shining a stadium size light to the problem, can it also shine light on the solution?
Challenges to decent work are different in rural and urban areas, but women in rural areas face additional hurdles to access decent work. Higher labour force participation in rural areas in the developing world and widespread decent work deficits of rural jobs reveal the need to promote healthy rural labour markets for everyone.