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6 stories you may have missed in September


September saw shocking new reports and data on COVID-19’s impact on women and girls and on global wages. But, there was also an emphasis on how young African innovators are successfully creating home-grown solutions to tackle the pandemic in their communities, as well as new surveys that show massive support for global cooperation and vaccine equity during COVID-19.

Governments failing to protect women during the pandemic

Only one in eight countries have measures to specifically protect women from the impacts of COVID-19, according to a new database of government responses, called The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker. The tracker, developed by UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), analyses state responses to the pandemic in 206 countries and assesses whether they include measures to support unpaid care, boost women’s economic security, and tackle violence against women and girls. The tracker found that 71% of gender-related measures focused on preventing violence against women and girls. Only 10% of measures were aimed at strengthening women’s economic security, and less than one-third focused on unpaid care work. In Europe, 93% of countries had taken at least one measure, as compared to just 63% of African nations.

Yemi Alade will focus on gender inequality in her new UN goodwill ambassador role

Nigerian pop star Yemi Alade has been named a UN goodwill ambassador, saying she’ll use the role to advocate for COVID-19 recovery plans to focus more on women. This includes the 740 million women worldwide who work in the struggling informal economy. “I want to lend my voice to these women and other vulnerable people who make up half of the world that’s struggling to make ends meet,” Yemi said. “They don’t have the luxury of working from home and are putting their health at risk just to put food on the table.” Alade gained global fame after becoming the first female Afro-pop artist with more than 100 million views on YouTube. She has won multiple music awards, and was featured on Beyonce’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album last year, and is one of the artists on our “Stand Together” solidarity anthem.

Public supports global cooperation and UN, but wants to see reforms

A massive, worldwide survey has found there is overwhelming public support for global cooperation, with more than 1 million people worldwide responding to surveys and consultations on how the United Nations should evolve as the institution turns 75. A majority of respondents said global cooperation is vital to deal with the world’s current complex political and public health challenges — but they also want the United Nations to change and innovate, becoming more transparent, accountable, and effective. Devex has the full story.

New US survey finds support for vaccine equity

New polling conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the ONE Campaign found that more than 80% of Americans believe healthcare workers, the elderly, and at-risk groups anywhere in the world should be the first to get a COVID-19 vaccine, before healthy people in the US receive a vaccine. The poll also found that three-quarters of registered voters would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate that has a global plan to defeat COVID-19 and works with other countries to develop and produce treatments and vaccines. Read more on the results.

UNDP Africa highlights 50 young Africans innovating against COVID-19

In September, UNDP Africa released a special online magazine that highlights 50 young Africans who are innovating against COVID-19. The magazine shines a spotlight on African inventors who are creating “diverse home-grown solutions which are proving essential in mitigating the effects of the pandemic on their communities.” The innovations range from drones, robots, and contact tracing apps, to rapid and non-invasive testing kits, to portable hands-free sanitation chambers. As more media focuses on Africa’s success in avoiding high caseloads and death tolls, these profiles tell the story of how Africa is tackling the complexity of pandemic through home-grown solutions. Meet the young innovators.

New ILO report finds worldwide income drops by $3.5 trillion during COVID

Workers lost a collective $3.5 trillion during the pandemic, as global income earned dropped by an estimated 10.7% in the first nine months of 2020, compared to the same period a year ago, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The new report found those in the informal economy and emerging economies were hardest hit, and have been affected to a much greater extent than in past crises. In just the second quarter of 2020, the ILO estimates global working time lost was 17.3%, equal to 495 million full-time jobs. In the final quarter of 2020, working hours losses are projected to reach 8.6%, equivalent to 245 million full-time jobs.

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