Roundtable | Supporting Women’s Work and Skills Development in the Time of COVID-19: Evidence and Policy for Bangladesh

Roundtable | Supporting Women’s Work and Skills Development in the Time of COVID-19: Evidence and Policy for Bangladesh

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The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected employment for young people around the world. Prior to the pandemic, young women were already more likely to be unemployed and not receiving education or vocational training, or working in informal or more precarious forms of employment.1 There are also existing gender gaps in skilling activities, especially vocational education training programs and information, communications, and technology (ICT) education.2 These gaps have widened during the pandemic, as women and girls are more likely to be pulled out of school or leave the workforce to compensate for increased care and domestic work at home.

Designing social policies to mitigate these impacts and support employment and skills development opportunities for girls is critical to post-pandemic economic recovery and gender equality. To understand the extent of these issues, and to shed light on the pandemic’s particularly hidden impacts on vulnerable girls, policymakers have needed data and evidence.

This event on Monday, June 28, 2021 convened researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to share research findings and discuss policy solutions to explore the following questions: How have young women’s work and skilling opportunities been impacted by the pandemic? How can data and evidence be used to support young women’s skill building and participation in the labor force through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond? A Q&A session among invitees from government, international and local organizations, and academia followed the presentations.

This private event was part of IPA’s Women’s Work, Entrepreneurship, and Skilling (WWES) Initiative jointly hosted with Aspire to Innovate (a2i) of the government of Bangladesh. Together with our partners, we are using this series to exchange learnings between the policy, practice, and research communities to support evidence-informed response efforts. More information about WWES is here.

Watch the recording below:

Presenters (in alphabetical order)


  • Radha Rajkotia, Chief Research & Policy Officer, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Asad-Uz-Zaman, Head of Future of Work, Aspire to Innovate (a2i)

Policy Discussant




United States