GENDER EQUALITY IS CRUCIAL FOR SOUND GOVERNMENT
Empowering and encouraging women to participate more fully in the public sphere is essential. Gender diversity in public institutions is particularly crucial, given that these decision making bodies create the rules that affect people’s rights, behaviours and life choices.
An increase of women in public life results in lower levels of inequality and increased confidence in national governments. Figures show that the increased presence of women cabinet ministers is associated with a rise in public health spending across many countries.
Ensuring that governments reflect the diversity of the societies they represent guarantees a balanced perspective which enables an inclusive approach to policy making and service delivery.
WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES?
There are major structural, legal and social barriers to women’s empowerment in public life. Lack of visibility and uneven work-life balance arrangements make it especially hard for women to be active in economic and political life. Women also face a lack of political encouragement to run for public office.
HOW TO ADDRESS THESE CHALLENGES
A whole-of-government approach is crucial to advancing the role of women in government. Holistic policy making will not only help bring more women into public light, but will ensure that gender considerations are more systematically embedded in all policies.
The OECD is contributing to the worldwide effort to advance gender equality by helping to feed and stir public policy debate and generate benchmarks for member countries. We are strengthening our ability to identify good practices, build databases and provide opportunities for policy dialogue on the global and regional levels.