Pandemic disproportionately affected women — study

شوارع العاصمه عمان في الحظر الشامل تصوير امير خليفه  (1)
Layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected women, according to a new study. (File photo: Amir Khalifa/Jordan News)
AMMAN — 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).اضافة اعلان

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, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

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

The study revealed that the demand shrank as a result of COVID-prompted lockdowns, forcing about 50 percent of female-owned companies to reduce the prices of their products so that they could compete, while about 30 percent 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, the 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 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.

Karim Shaaban, CIPE director of Levant programs, 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.

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