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. Our work includes the following areas:


  • A 2016 brief report on fields of education, gender and the labour market, showed that Education fields with a larger share of women are typically with lower earnings. Even within the same field of education, employment rates and earnings are generally higher for men than for women. A 2017 brief illustrates the marked gender imbalances in the teaching profession: not only do women make up the majority of teachers, their share decreases with the level of schooling: women are much more likely to teach in a primary school than at a university.
  • PISA 2015 Results (Volume III) Students' Well-Being explores a comprehensive set of well-being indicators for adolescents by gender that covers both negative outcomes (e.g. anxiety, low performance) and the positive impulses that promote healthy development (e.g. interest, engagement, motivation to achieve).

Employment and work-life balance

  • The OECD Employment Outlook 2016 includes an analysis on Closing gender gaps in the labour markets of emerging economies - see also policy brief (July 2016)


  • Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2016 presents indicators to monitor gender gaps in entrepreneurship, and new statistics on male and female run businesses in the digital economy collected via The Future of Business Survey - a new online survey prepared by Facebook in cooperation with the OECD and World Bank.
  • The OECD cooperates with Facebook and the World Bank to explore challenges and performance of male and female-run businesses that embrace digital tools. A report on Gender Management in Business presenting new insights from The Future of Business Survey was published in January 2017.

Public governance

  • Gender budgeting in OECD countries: The design of economic policy and how budgeting resources are allocated are crucial factors in a gender-equal society. Based on the 2016 OECD Survey of Gender Budgeting Practices, this report analyses current gender budgeting practices and identifies potential entry-points for gender-responsive policy-making.
  • On 14 December 2015 the OECD Council adopted the Recommendation on Gender Equality in Public Life which is geared towards effective implementation of gender equality and mainstreaming initiatives in public life, and enhancing women’s equal access to public leadership opportunities such as in parliaments, the executive, judiciary and public administrations.
  • Work is underway on an OECD Governance of Gender Equality Toolkit which will aim to accompany policy-makers in every step of the process of delivering gender sensitive public policies and services and enabling women’s equal access to public decision-making.

OECD Regional Initiatives on Governance and Competitiveness

Corporate Governance


  • ‌The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Network on Gender Equality, GENDERNET is the only international forum where experts from DAC development co-operation agencies and foreign ministries meet to define common approaches in support of gender equality and women’s rights. Each year GENDERNET publishes data for each individual DAC member on their aid in support of gender equality, as well as thematic analysis in topical areas of development co-operation.
  • In December 2016, the GENDERNET published a new Handbook on the OECD-DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker, a guidance designed to promote a better understanding of the gender marker and to support DAC member agencies in applying this key monitoring and accountability tool in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
  • SIGI Regional Reports  on East Asia and the PacificEurope and Central AsiaLatin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa provide in-depth analysis of how discrimination in laws and practices affect women’s rights and outcomes. Each Regional Report focuses on specific challenges confronting the specific region, offering new data and analysis of the costs of discrimination for growth and development, case studies on good practices, and an in-depth look at discriminatory social institutions and their role in shaping women’s access to justice, employment, education and other empowerment opportunities.
  • Wikigender now includes a new strong focus on the SDGs, gender statistics and leading trends in gender and development. The online collaborative platform is also available in French, making it the only one of its kind for the Francophone community.

Financial Education


  • Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use looks at the gender gap and socioeconomic gap in risky drinking that affects employment, productivity and wages: less educated and lower socioeconomic status men as well as more educated and higher socioeconomic status women are more likely to have risky drinking behaviours


  • Going Digital: The Future of Work for Women discusses the possible impact of digitalisation on women and men, and proposes a range of policies to ensure that technological change supports a closing, and not a widening, of gender gaps (Policy Brief, 8-page .pdf, July 2017)

  • The Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard contains new indicators on women in science and technology including on gender differences in holding doctorates in science areas and employment as researchers.


  • In September 2016 Taxation & Skills will be released which will focus on the financial incentives for men and women to invest in skills over the lifecycle, and on how tax systems can do more to encourage skills investment.


  • How’s Life? 2017 presents the latest evidence in both current well-being outcomes and resources for future well-being in 35 OECD countries and 6 partner countries. This fourth edition highlights the many faces of inequality, showing that gaps in people’s achievements and opportunities extend right across the different dimensions of well-being. It exposes divisions according to age, gender, and education, and reveals pockets of inequality in all OECD countries.

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