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Covid-19 crisis has widened gender disparity — Kagame

President Kagame addresses a virtual G20 summit over the weekend. He pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has widened structural gender disparity with the larger burden falling on women. Photo: Village Urugwiro

President Paul Kagame has called for action against continued structural gender disparities saying that it shouldn’t be the case in a truly inclusive and sustainable future.

The President was speaking at the virtual G20 summit on Building an Inclusive, Sustainable, and Resilient Future.

 

Kagame said the Covid-19 pandemic has widened structural gender disparity with the larger burden falling on women. This he said should not be accepted as a norm in an inclusive future.

 

“The pandemic has affected women disproportionately. The burden of caring for sick relatives falls primarily on the women in our families. Women have also been forced to exit formal sector employment to take care of children during lockdown. We cannot continue to accept structural gender disparities as the status quo in a truly inclusive and sustainable future,” he said.

 

Kagame made a case for environmental sustainability calling for implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montréal Protocol.

“By phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), we can prevent 0.5°C of temperature increase by the year 2100. This is what scientists tell us. This represents almost one-quarter of the Paris Agreement target and is an outstanding example of cooperation between the public and private sectors. The Kigali Amendment is now in force and more than one hundred countries have already ratified it. I urge the remaining states to ratify as soon as we can,” he said.

For an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future, the Head of State noted the need to further address the world's digital divide which he said unacceptable costs and implications.

“Increasingly, access to affordable broadband connectivity is the entry point for education, health care, and employment,” he said.

Members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

Kagame featured at the summit on behalf of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

The summit was hosted by Saudi Arabia, and was attended by heads of state from some of the leading economies in the world.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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