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- Ambassador Julie-Ann Guivarra stresses that bridging the gender gap is not only the right thing to do, it also results in economic gains. With a $1.5 trillion credit gap for women-owned SMEs, the economic growth from financing women would be incredible.
- The COVID-19 crisis will have a disproportionate effect on women and girls and therefore it is more important than ever to apply a gender lens for investments, making sure that women businesses and SMEs are supported. There is also a vital role for women in COVID-19 decision-making.
- Challenges are more multifaceted in the post COVID world, making the case for strong networks to encourage collaboration to tackle these challenges that are ahead of us. Ambassador Guivarra encouraged governments and private sectors to work together to unlock capital especially to support women entrepreneurs.
As the impacts of COVID-19 disproportionately affect women and girls across Asia, now more than ever we need to join together and take action for gender quality and women’s economic empowerment. Julie-Ann Guivarra is the Ambassador for Gender Equality with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She is Australia’s first-ever female indigenous Ambassador. In her new role as Ambassador for Gender Equality, Guivarra stresses that “we need to ensure that we continue our engagement with Asia, particularly on gender. If you look at the gender impacts of COVID in the Indo-Pacific region, there have been a range of consequences for women including spikes in violence against women, women’s role as frontline healthcare workers, pressure on sectors that predominantly employ women. It is important that we support women’s organisations so that women have a voice.”