Important steps have already been taken in OECD countries to combat gender inequality but significant disparities remain in educational and occupational choices. The OECD Gender Initiative monitors the progress made on gender equality, through data and analysis, and provides best practices for achieving greater equality (see our flyer). Our work includes the following areas:


Employment and work-life balance

  • With the ILO and UN Women, the OECD established the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) to help achieve SDG target 8.5 focusing on equal pay between men and women for work of equal value. A technical meeting promoting better indicators, data and policy tools will be held in Reykjavik, April 2019


  • The OECD Family Database provides a wealth of gender-relevant data on families, children, employment and work-life balance. Recently updated indicators (2019) include Use of Childbirth-related Leave Benefits, which contains cross-national data on fathers’ use of paid paternity leave and gender differences in the use of paid parental leave
  • The OECD Employment Outlook 2018 includes a chapter on Barriers to Women’s career progression: Starting close, growing apart: Why the gender gap in labour income widens over the working life.
  • Building on the Making Trade Work for All framework, OECD will begin work to better understand the role that domestic policies and investments play in determining outcomes and opportunities of trade for women; analysis will also explore the scope for international economic co-operation in trade policy to promote gender equality


  • The Missing Entrepreneurs 2019 will be launched in Fall 2019. This will be the fifth report in the series that examines how public policies support job creation, economic growth and social inclusion by addressing obstacles to business creation by people from groups that are under-represented in entrepreneurship, such as women
  • The Highlights of Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2018 presents new findings on gender differences in the motivations to set up a business and novel data on the sources of funding for male and female entrepreneurs
  • Now available via OECD.Stat is the Future of Business Survey database, which contains key indicators on female- and male-owned businesses. The survey is carried out jointly by Facebook, the OECD and the World Bank
  • In October 2018, the OECD and European Commission launched The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool, which supports policy makers and other stakeholders in the design and implementation of tailored entrepreneurship policies and programmes for women and other target groups (e.g. youth), and social entrepreneurship support

Public governance

  • 2019: the release of Fast forward to gender equality: Mainstreaming, Implementation and Leadership (Baseline Report of the 2015 OECD Recommendation on Gender Equality in Public Life), which assesses how governments pursue gender mainstreaming and advance gender equality goals, and also looks at gender equality ilegislature, judiciary and the executive
  • In spring 2019, the OECD will release Towards Good Governance Guidelines for Gender Budgeting , which outlines how a gender perspective can be embedded into Public Financial Management (PFM) frameworks to help deliver gender equality objectives

OECD Regional Initiatives on Governance and Competitiveness

  • Through its regional and country projects, the OECD supports the efforts of MENA countries to maximise women’s integration in public and political life, prevent and tackle violence against women, and boost whole-of-government institutional capacities to address key challenges to gender equality
  • The MENA-OECD Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum (WEEF) aims to contribute to empowering women, thereby helping to create more resilient and inclusive societies. In fall 2019 it will release a follow-up study to the 2017 report report on the impact of legal frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia
  • In the context of the MENA-OECD Working Group on Corporate Governance the April 2019 publication on Corporate Governance in MENA: Building a Framework for Competitiveness and Growth will report on Improving Gender Balance in Corporate Leadership
  • The OECD Southeast Asia Gender Initiative supports gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship in the region through research and capacity building. Strengthening Women's Entrepreneurship in ASEAN assesses the landscape for women’s entrepreneurship in the region and offers concrete recommendations to unleash the potential of women in business
  • During 2018 OECD Eurasia Week , H.E. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, delivered the key note speech on Shaping the Future through Better Policies for Gender Equality. Participants from Eurasia countries discussed ways to overcome barriers to women’s economic participation in their economies

Corporate Governance

  • The 2019 edition of the OECD Corporate Governance Factbook will include new data on women on boards and in senior management, including on the requirement to disclose statistics on gender composition, quotas/targets for achieving gender balance on boards, and sanctions or penalties for non-compliance with mandatory quotas
  • The OECD and FAO are leading a project on responsible supply chains in agriculture and released a baseline report in 2018. The report found that 78% of companies covered have committed to eliminating discrimination against women and 90% verify compliance, but the level of verification diminishes along the supply chain


  • The GENDERNET - OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Network on Gender Equality - is the international forum for gender experts from DAC development co-operation agencies and foreign ministries
  • The OECD Development Centre's Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) 2019 globally measures discrimination against women in social institutions (formal and informal laws, social norms, and practices), across four broad themes: discrimination in the family, restricted physical integrity, restricted access to productive and financial resources and restricted civil liberties
  • Wikigender now includes a new strong focus on the SDGs, gender statistics and leading trends in gender and development. The online collaborative platform is available in English and French, and will be available in Spanish from March 2019 onwards

Financial Education


  • Women are overrepresented in care sector jobs that pay low salaries and are physically demanding. Women providing intensive care at home may well suffer mental health problems and are unlikely to find full-time jobs. A forthcoming 2019 OECD publication explores these issues and options to better support elderly care workers.

Digital Transformation and Science

  • Deepening the evidence base on the role of women in the digital transformation is essential for developing better policies. The OECD’s 2019 Measuring the Digital Transformation report presents the gender dimension across a number of key indicators
  • The under-representation of women in certain areas of science, technology and innovation (STI) has long been a concern. The OECD-European Commission STIP Compass portal presents qualitative and quantitative data on national trends in STI policy, including initiatives directed at gender equality
  • The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency held two international Mentoring Workshops in STEM areas in 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, and Ávila, Spain, to motivate young female students to explore science and engineering careers, and to suggest ways to overcome any barriers that they may face along the way



  • The OECD Better Life Index integrates information on gender inequality across its twelve domains of well-being

  • A dataviz on well-being inequalities explores how well-being is shared among people in OECD countries along different fault lines, including between men and women

  • A Statistical Insights on “How’s Life for Women in the Digital Age?” will provide a comprehensive description of how the digital transformation is impacting women and men’s lives and their well-being (February 2019, forthcoming)

Violence against Women

  • OECD countries are making violence against women a gender equality priority. Cross-national information and data on violence against women in 180 countries is part of the 2019 Social Institutions and Gender Index - SIGI 2019
  • The OECD is leading work is focussed on strengthening public and justice sector capacities to tackle gender-based violence and to achieve equal access to justice for all (Riga, 2018)
  • The OECD supported the One Safe Place for Hope and Empowerment conference on violence against women (Paris, 2018. The event brought together government and community actors to advance a multidisciplinary approach to supporting the complex needs of women and their families who are victims of domestic violence
  • The OECD is providing implementation support to Colombia to enhance women’s political participation at local level, and improve access to justice, namely for women victims of violence from rural and indigenous backgrounds. The project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency with a final report due in 2020
  • The OECD will be hosting a High-Level Policy Dialogue on Violence Against Women in January 2020. The event will bring together experts form government and public services, academia, the private sector international organisations and civil society to discuss violence against women and gender-based violence from a multi-disciplinary perspective
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