Women disproportionately affected by coronavirus layoffs: Study

[29-09-2021 12:26 PM]

Ammon News - About 74 percent of those affected by layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic were women, according to a study conducted by the Jordanian Business and Professional Women Forum and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).

The study titled: "The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women-Owned Businesses in Jordan: An Assessment" revealed that about 70 percent of women-owned enterprises pursued borrowing to finance payrolls. The study sample included 503 businesses, with microenterprises comprising 74 percent of the total, followed by medium and small enterprises with 4 and 2 percent, respectively.

Conducted in the period December 2020 to May 2021, the study indicated that only 2.5 percent of the businesses surveyed said they had been able to access a Central Bank of Jordan-sponsored economic support tranche.

The study revealed that the demand shrank as a result of Covid-prompted lockdowns, forcing about 50% of women-owned companies to reduce the prices of their products so that they could compete, while about 30% of them had to resort to downsizing.

It indicated that only about 6 percent of companies owned by women in Jordan were able to resume operations at the time of the study.

Sponsoring the launch of the study on Tuesday, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Maha Ali, said that the ministry will follow up on the findings of the study and its recommendations, and provide the necessary assistance and support to women-owned enterprises.

She added: "To help the national economy recover, the government has set economic priorities for the next two years, including enabling the private sector to create the job opportunities required to employ Jordanians, increasing and stimulating domestic and foreign investment, and increasing national exports."

For her part, President of the Jordanian Business and Professional Women Forum, Reem Al-Baghdadi, explained that the study is aimed at identifying challenges and obstacles faced by businesswomen during the pandemic, adding that the forum is committed to sharing the study's recommendations and findings with government stakeholders to address any outstanding issues.

Established in 1976, the Jordanian Business and Professional Women Forum seeks to enhance the contribution of Jordanian women to economic and social development, and to provide the national economy with female talents and help them access decision-making positions.

Karim Shaaban, Director of Levant Programs at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIEP), said that the center, in cooperation with several local stakeholders, is researching and measuring the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on several sectors, including women's economic empowerment, the green building sector, renewable energy, the industrial sector, and financial services.

He stressed that the center is keen to share the study's findings with private sector institutions, economic policy makers, and civil society institutions, to implement recommendations on the ground, and improve the business environment for businesswomen in Jordan.


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