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:


  • The release in 2020 of a working paper examining how gender intersects with other dimensions of “the Strength through Diversity project”. The review will consider gender-related challenges in education systems (e.g. gender stereotypes, underachievement of boys, etc), and propose a taxonomy of gender-sensitive policies in education (including classroom strategies, curriculum policies, teacher education and professional development, non-instructional services)

Employment and work-life balance

  • Rejuvenating Korea: Policies for a Changing Society discusses policy developments (such as with parental leave and early childhood education and care) in Korea that help parents reconcile work and family commitments

  • Part-time and Partly Equal: Gender and Work in the Netherlands shows that with nearly 60% of women working part-time - three times the rate for Dutch men, the country faces a persistent gender equality. Better social policy support can contribute to a more gender-equal sharing of paid and unpaid work in the Netherlands

  • Good Practice for Good Jobs in Early Childhood Education illustrates ways and means of strengthening the quality of educator training and the quality of early childhood facilities. The study was discussed conference in Berlin in 2019 with both policy makers and practitioners

  • A Statistical Insights on “Men’s employment more dependent on trade than women’s” explores the gender dimension of globalisation and global value chains, and in particular whether they are having differing effects on men’s and women’s work

  • Policy brief on the impact of collective bargaining on the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2020)


  • The Missing Entrepreneurs 2019 was launched at the OECD Local Development Forum in Antwerp on 10 December 2019. This is 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, including women
  • The Future of Business Survey database, which contains key indicators on female- and male-owned businesses, was enriched in 2019 with indicators describing the online presence and participation of SMEs in international trade. The survey is carried out jointly by Facebook, the OECD and the World Bank

  • Following the OECD SME Ministerial Conference in Mexico City in 2018, the Centre for Entrepreneurship published Strengthening SMEs and Entrepreneurship for Productivity and Inclusive Growth in July 2019, which includes all background papers and the ministerial declaration. Women’s entrepreneurship is covered by the analysis on inclusive entrepreneurship

  • The OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019 was published in May 2019 applies a gender lens in its analysis, notably in the areas of access to finance and skills

  • In May 2019, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and the European Commission published a Policy brief on incubators and accelerators that support inclusive entrepreneurship, which covers dedicated incubator and accelerator programmes for women

  • The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool was boosted in 2019 with new functions, and is now available in 24 languages. The online tool 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

  • As part of the Centre for Entrepreneurship’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WE Initiative) and the OECD’s March on Gender campaign, an event with senior policy makers, entrepreneurs, experts and stakeholders is being organised to discuss how public policy can help unleash women’s entrepreneurial potential and explore the role of the digital revolution in finance

Public governance

  • The Public Governance Committee (PGC) elevated its gender equality network into the Working Party on Gender Mainstreaming and Governance (GMG). The GMG brings together institutions responsible for domestic gender equality policies and supports the integration of a gender lens in their substantive work.Its first meeting was held on 4-5 February 2020

  • In the context of the High-level OECD conference on Ending Violence Against Women, the (PGC) advances work on adopting a whole-of-government approach to tackling violence-against women and ensuring survivor-centred access to justice. In 2020, the GMG will establish a technical advisory group on strengthening public governance approaches to eliminating violence against women

  • In 2021, the OECD will publish a Gender-sensitive Framework for Sound Public Governance building on the recently approved Policy Framework on Sound Public Governance

  • In 2020, the OECD will release the report Strengthening Gender Equality in Colombia at the sub-national levels (title to be confirmed) which focuses on women’s political empowerment and access to justice through multi-dimensional empowerment continuum. The work is supported by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency

  • The OECD launched a new report “Designing and Implementing Gender Budgeting: A Path to Action” in September 2019 which outlines how a gender perspective can be embedded into Public Financial Management (PFM) frameworks to help deliver gender equality objectives

  • This PFM is used to assess country practices and underpinned the recent publications “OECD Scan: Equality Budgeting in Ireland” (September 2019) and “Thailand: Gender Budgeting Action Plan” (February 2020). The next OECD SBO Experts Meeting on Gender Budgeting will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 27-28th May 2020

  • The release of Fast forward to gender equality: Mainstreaming, Implementation and Leadership  (in April 2019 - Baseline Report of the 2015 OECD Recommendation on Gender Equality in Public Life), assesses how governments pursue gender mainstreaming and advance gender equality goals, and also looks at gender equality ilegislature, judiciary and the executive

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 summer 2020 it will release a follow-up study to the 2017 report on the impact of legal frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia
  • The OECD Southeast Asia Gender Initiative supports gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship in the region through research and capacity building. In 2019 a new workstream was launched on strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector
  • The OECD has launched a project on “Better pay share, better norms and better prospects for future women’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean”. The analysis of gender gaps will focus on women's disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work. Over 2020-2021, the project will cover Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru

Corporate Governance

  • The OECD Corporate Governance Factbook - 2019 includes 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


Financial Education

  • The “PISA 2018 Initial Report (Volume IV): Are Students Smart About Money?” will be released on May 7th and includes a discussion of gender differences in financial literacy and students’ financial behaviours, attitudes, and experiences


  • Health at a Glance: OECD Indicators presents a wide range of indicators on gender differences in health, including in life expectancy, specific causes of death (including cardiovascular diseases and cancer), self-reported health status, smoking and obesity. Health at a Glance: Europe and Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific are also available

  • Almost half of all doctors in OECD countries are female, at between one-third and two-thirds of all doctors in most OECD countries, according to the latest data released in Health at a Glance: OECD Indicators, and this share will keep increasing as higher numbers of women are enrolling and graduating from medical school

  • Women are overrepresented in low-pay part-time care sector jobs that are mentally and physically demanding. Women in such jobs are more often exposed to stress, abuse and back pain than elsewhere. The forthcoming OECD publication Who Cares? Attracting and Retaining Care Workers for the Elderly explores these issues and options to better support elderly care workers

Digital Transformation and Science

  • The 2019 OECD report on The Role of Education and Skills in Bridging the Digital Gender Divide: Evidence from APEC Economies highlights the importance of education and skills policies in building an inclusive digital future

  • 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 NEA convened an “Exploratory Meeting on Improving the Gender Balance in Nuclear Energy” on 10-11 December 2019. Participants exchanged information regarding the status of women in the nuclear sectors and discussed what steps might be taken to address challenges related to the participation of women in nuclear energy activities

  • Building on previous events to encourage female students to pursue STEM, the NEA organised three more International Mentoring Workshops in Science and Engineering in Fukushima, Japan (August 2019); Vigo, Spain (September 2019); and Moscow, Russia (October 2019), providing participating students with a rare opportunity to interact with accomplished women scientists and engineers




  • How’s Life? 2020 Measuring Well-being highlights key gender differences in well-being in OECD and partner countries. The report stresses the importance of viewing well-being through a gender lens, showing both areas in which women and in which men are doing better (March 2020)
  • Building on the innovative methodology detailed in the Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets report, a gender lens is being applied on the SDGs, going beyond national averages to measure SDG outcomes for women and girls (March 2020)

  • 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

Violence against Women

  • The OECD hosted a High-Level Policy Dialogue on Violence Against Women in February 2020. The event brought 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

  • 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 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