COVID-19 Exclusion Working Group (Gender) – Introduction and Strategic Enablers for Digital Payments

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Strategic Enablers for Digital Payments


COVID-19 is causing unprecedented health, economic and social crises and threatens the poverty and inclusion gains that have been made over the last decade.

It is estimated that COVID-19 will push 71 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, with the global economy estimated to contract by 5 percent in 2020 under a baseline scenario. Women make up the majority of the world’s front-line health workers, so may have higher risks of exposure to the virus, as well as face more negative social and economic impacts than men. This report details potential gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession.

The COVID-19 exclusion working group has focused efforts on improving the design and deployment of emergency social assistance programs to make them work better for women. To complement our working group’s efforts to map a gender-responsive user journey for cash transfer recipients within the context of COVID-19, we also advanced reflections on key enablers for digital payments that can support effective program support for women.