As has happened around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on employment in Latin America. According to data from the International Labor Organization, in Latin America and the Caribbean 23 million people left the work force.

Women were particularly affected by the pandemic. According to the ILO, 13 million of them lost their jobs in Latin America, bringing the female unemployment rate to levels similar to 15 years ago. Added to this, women have had more difficulty returning to the work environment. For example, for Ecuador, the Minister of Labor Andrés Isch pointed out that every seven out of ten jobs that are generated in the pandemic are directed to men.

Seven out of ten jobs created in the pandemic are directed to men.

Minister of Labor Andrés Isch

For this reason, different international organizations have called for a gender approach to propose strategies that solve the problems derived from the pandemic for women, such as the Organization of American States (OAS) or the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

To analyze this situation and share strategies focused on cushioning the impact of the pandemic on women’s employment, the IDB organized a virtual session in which Latin American leaders and heads of state participated.

The session was divided into two panels in which it was discussed what employment regulations countries should adopt, what companies should do to maintain and recover female work and how to develop skills for women to achieve their labor reintegration.

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