The OECD Gender Initiative: Overview


Regrettably, gender discrimination is still a problem in our societies and our economies. In fact, “problem” is far too weak a word. It is more accurate to speak of an unacceptable injustice. Women have fewer opportunities in terms of education, employment and entrepreneurship and are, on average, less well paid for their work. 

What makes this worse is the fact that more than 30 years ago the OECD published a strategy for reducing inequality between women and men. And since 1980 things have not changed enough. This is why we have decided return this injustice to centre stage.

This decision is motivated by a respect for fundamental rights and ethics, but gender discrimination is also economically counterproductive, an often ignored aspect of this problem. To move towards a path of sustainable growth, our societies need to mobilise all talents, and everyone needs to join in creating value added in every aspect of our economies.

The problems facing developing countries affect women more harshly than men. When we look at the place women occupy in the poorest societies, the most serious problems such as the supply of drinking water and access to basic health care are borne by women. Here again, the richer nations and their governments have a clear responsibility towards the women of this world. Always open to improvement, policies to promote equal opportunities lie at the heart of the OECD’s work. Indeed, we owe it to the world and its women to lead by example whenever we can.


See also:

"Gender: Pushing for a change" in OECD Observer No 290-291, Q1-Q2 2012. 

©OECD Observer No 290-291, Q1-Q2 2012

Economic data

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Last update: 10 Nov 2020

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