A Gender Approach to Monetary and Financial Policies in the Covid-19 Recovery
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A combination of monetary policies and public investment can address gender biases in an economy by supporting equality among entrepreneurs, workers, carers and consumers. Recent recovery interventions from central banks have not explicitly considered the impacts of their policies on gender equality, which is a missed opportunity. This paper discusses the gender implications of monetary policies, arguing that they are not gender neutral. We examine the evolution of monetary policies in Bangladesh, Kenya, Peru, Sri Lanka and Tanzania and discuss the indirect gender equality implications of these policies. The aim is to complement the country case studies of the project ‘Shaping the MacroEconomy in Response to Covid-19: A Responsible Economic Stimulus, a Stable Financial Sector and a Revival in Exports’. We distinguish four types of monetary policies: (1) interest rates and reserve policies, which relate to banks’ capital requirements; (2) quantitative easing, lending terms and loan guarantees for sectors, firms and individuals, which relate to maintaining liquidity in the financial system: (3) alternative monetary policies, restricting or earmarking specific constraints or provisions; and (4) balance of payments policies, which include policies relating to exchange rate, capital controls and central banks’ foreign reserve holding.