UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is deepening already existing inequalities and “is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls” that could reverse limited progress toward gender equality over the last 25 years.The U.N. chief said in a video message and policy paper that “across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.”While early data indicates that the mortality rates from COVID-19 may be higher for men, Gutterres said “nearly 60 per cent of women around the world work in the informal economy, earning less, saving less, and at greater risk of falling into poverty.”He said millions of women’s jobs have been lost at the same time that their unpaid work has “increased exponentially” as a result of school closures and children being at home, and the increased needs of older people.“These currents are combining as never before to defeat women’s rights and deny women’s opportunities,” Guterres said.The secretary-general said the year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the U.N. conference in Beijing that adopted a 150-page road map to achieve

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