Dear WEESA Community Members,

Welcome to the first WEESA monthly digest which offers curated resources from inside and outside the World Bank on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the South Asia region and beyond.

What does this monthly digest have for you this month? A select list of past and future events, new research and blog posts,  and a podcast focusing on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality. In addition, it lists new job openings.

The WEESA Community of Practice, hosted by the World Bank’s South Asia Region Gender Innovation Lab, a solutions platform for gender equality, is actively expanding its knowledge repository. If you haven’t visited it yet, now is a great time to check it out! As a knowledge-sharing platform, we encourage you to share events, research, blogs, news, and ideas for the benefit of other community members. Please reach out to the WEESA team to say hi and submit your content and suggestions.
Featured Resources
'Back to Normal' is not enough: 2022 SDG Gender Index Global Launch
Less than a quarter of countries are making ‘fast’ progress towards gender equality, and one in every three countries is either making no progress at all or is moving in the wrong direction. Read here
Gendered impacts of COVID-19: Insights from 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
To capture the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the authors conducted phone surveys in seven countries spread across Asia and Africa. This report gives an overview of the findings on income loss, coping strategies, labor and time use, food and water insecurity, and child education outcomes. Read here
Mapping the path to accelerate gender equality
COVID-19 has underscored, and exacerbated long-standing gender inequalities, but the crisis has opened a window of opportunity to tackle persistent and stubborn gender gaps and accelerate progress to equality. This blog summarizes three notes on broad policy directions that the crisis response can and should emphasize to address gender gaps in entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, and access to safety nets. Read here
Bangladesh’s prosperity hinges on gender equality 
The urgency of gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow calls for bold solutions such as providing the necessary skills to women, especially in science and technology field, supporting  low-income women in the informal sector to become self-employed and microentrepreneurs, and involving more women in decision making. Read here
How to empower women to take advantage of the opportunities of trade
Digital economies such as e-commerce provide unparalleled opportunities to women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and enter previously male-dominated sectors. This not only helps to eliminate the gender gap in market participation, it can boost also market performance by up to 300 billion dollars by 2030. 
Read here
Virtual Events
Past Events: 
Women Economic Empowerment - Reality Check in Covid Era 
This webinar, organized by Oxfam India, discussed the potential of grassroots women enterprise building in the context of the pandemic. View the recording

Women’s Day Special on Women’s Work
How do the processes of economic development and social change affect women’s labor market outcomes? What forces can bring about opportunities for women’s work that truly enhance their economic empowerment? The session featured Ashwini Deshpande and Janneke Pieters sharing their knowledge on the often complex answers to these questions. View the recording

Women Informal Workers: What Needs to Change? 
The session featured experts sharing what they are learning about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on women informal workers and care responsibilities for women, as well as recommendations for policy changes to support a strong, equitable, and sustainable recovery. View the recording

Future Events: 

Tackling the Root Causes of Women's Financial Exclusion | April 21, 2022, 9-10 am EST 
In this webinar, hosted by CGAP and FinEquity as part of the World Bank Group's Gender Equality and Development +10: Accelerate Equality initiative, funders and facilitators will share how they diagnose gender norms that impact women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment in specific country contexts, and how they use these insights to shape their strategies to create a more gender-equitable financial system. Register here 
What We Are Listening to
What Melinda French Gates and Esther Duflo Think Women Need Right Now
Philanthropist Melinda French Gates and Nobel Prize economist Esther Duflo talk about the best ways to empower women economically post-COVID-19.
Job Vacancies
World Bank ET Consultant (Grade: EC2 Sector: Gender)
Location: Washington, D.C., United States  Deadline: March 31, 2022
UNDP Regional Gender Statistics Specialist (P-4)
Location: Cairo, Egypt  Deadline: April 11, 2022
UNESCO Director, Division for Gender Equality
Location: Paris, France  Deadline: April 19, 2022 
Winrock international Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Specialist
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal  Deadline: April 15, 2022
About Us
WEESA is a knowledge community designed with the goal of strengthening the linkages between evidence and action by curating evidence on “what works,” amplifying local voices and knowledge and enhancing local capacity on women’s economic empowerment in the region through small grants for local organizations and researchers. 

WEESA is hosted by the World Bank’s 
South Asia Region Gender Innovation Lab (SAR GIL),
a solutions platform for gender equality, supported by the Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE) and the South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program
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