UN Women, All-China Women’s Federation jointly help businesses hurt by COVID-19

Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021

[Press Release]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Supporting Women to Recover from the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19. Project Launch Event in Wuhan. Photo: UN Women/Shi Jieyu
Photo: UN Women/Shi Jieyu

Wuhan, China — Women-owned businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are receiving support with recovery efforts from a new project jointly implemented by UN Women China and the All-China Women’s Federation.

The project, Supporting Women to Recover from the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19, was launched in Wuhan on 16 September. It is funded by China’s Rockcheck Puji Foundation.

The project will target women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in two of the Chinese cities most-affected by the pandemic, Wuhan and Tianjin.

The project will develop and implement a model recovery plan that meets the specific needs of women entrepreneurs and workers, and improve their access to procurement and business opportunities. It will develop a business continuity plan toolkit for women-led SMEs, establish pools of experts for peer-to-peer networking and support, and provide training and skills development opportunities. It will also link women with financial support services and publicize inspiring success stories into under the banner of UN Women’s #SheBouncesBack campaign.

At the launch ceremony, the acting Deputy Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office of Asia and the Pacific, Sarah Knibbs, said: “SMEs account for 96 per cent of all businesses in Asia. SMEs experience higher levels of shocks and vulnerabilities because of their lower access to financial services and assets, information/communications technology, and business networks. They are therefore less protected from economic shocks in times of crisis.

“That is why we have come together to co-create a partnership that aims at empowering women-led SMEs and providing them with tools and resources necessary to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and prepare them better by building resilience to potential shocks and vulnerabilities in the future.”

The Vice-President of the All-China Women’s Federation, Xia Jie, said the project “is of great significance and will accumulate useful experience to help women to recover from the pandemic and promote the resumption of work and production”.

“It will contribute to the realization of gender equality and comprehensive development of women,” she said.

Xia Jie, the Vice-president of the All-China Women’s Federation, speaks at the 16 September 2021 launch  in Wuhan of the women’s businesses and COVID-19 recovery project. Photo: UN Women/Shi Jieyu
Xia Jie, the Vice-president of the All-China Women’s Federation, speaks at the 16 September 2021 launch in Wuhan of the women’s businesses and COVID-19 recovery project. Photo: UN Women/Shi Jieyu

The General-Secretary of the Rockcheck Puji Foundation, Zhang Junting, said: “Because of the pandemic, many women have lost their families, lost their sources of income, and are under heavy economic and psychological pressure. In the process of fighting the epidemic and promoting economic and social recovery, we must pay particular attention to the special needs of women's groups. It is an important social responsibility in the post-epidemic period to help them resume their normal productive lives and rebuild their beauty and hope.”

Representatives of the All-China Women’s Federation, UN Women, and the Rockcheck Puji Foundation on 16 September 2021 in Wuhan jointly press the launch button for the women’s businesses and COVID-19 recovery project. Photo: UN Women/ Shi Jieyu
Representatives of the All-China Women’s Federation, UN Women, and the Rockcheck Puji Foundation on 16 September 2021 in Wuhan jointly press the launch button for the women’s businesses and COVID-19 recovery project. Photo: UN Women/Shi Jieyu

For more information:

Di Liu
Programme Analyst, UN Women China
T: +86 10 8532 5925-620 | E: di.liu@unwomen.org