Gender equality and sustainable infrastructure OECD, 7 March 2019, 9.00 am – 11.00 am
As part of a new OECD Gender Policy Platform: Accelerating Gender Mainstreaming, the session will build on the 2015 Recommendation of the Council on Gender Equality in Public Life and the OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure, and will focus on three aspects of gender mainstreaming in infrastructure:
Building a business case for gender lens in infrastructure projects: (i) putting in place systems that ensure a systematic collection of relevant gender disaggregated data (usage and provision) by type of infrastructure (transportation, energy, water and sanitation, digital, safety and resilience, financial, health, education, culture, green spaces etc) to inform infrastructure project planning and design; and (ii) developing frameworks to take into account interlinkages between infrastructure projects and other societal goals, such environment protection or health;
Women as users: including a gender perspective from an early stage, allowing projects to be planned, prioritised, delivered and managed taking into account the needs of women and children needs and their interlinkages with other objectives;
Women as contributors: ensuring the participation of women throughout the entire cycle of the infrastructure project, including the consultation and decision-making processes, in order to achieve better outcomes for all.
The session would review specific examples of infrastructure strategies and projects from both high-income and developing countries that have successfully brought in a gender perspective and led to substantial improvement in the well-being of girls and women. It would take a broad approach, covering physical infrastructure (including implications for public procurement) and urban development. It would also address the interaction with other SDGs, in particular access to water, sanitation, and energy, and the different goals related to environmental sustainability.
Report launch - "Fast Forward to Gender Equality: Mainstreaming, implementation and leadership" OECD, 8 March 2019, 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
The event is a high-level launch of the Baseline Report of the 2015 OECD Recommendation on Gender Equality in Public Life “Fast forward to gender equality: Mainstreaming, implementation and leadership”. The Report will be launched as part of OECD corporate March on Gender events.
The issue of gender equality has recently been prioritized in the global agenda and is evermore present in the social psyche. In spite of various efforts of the OECD countries to bridge the gender gaps, gender inequality persists in all spheres. There is an overall upward trend towards gender equality in government decision-making. Yet women continue to be over-represented in both low-level job categories, and part time work. The higher the position, the lower the proportion of women in many OECD countries across all branches of power: Women continue to represent, on average, only one third of senior public service employees, members of parliament and Supreme Court judges.
The sluggish progress in promoting gender equality reveals that much of the government initiatives to date have not always been up to the task of dealing with persisting stereotypes and cultural norms. Indeed, limited political will, capacities, and resources continue to hamper gender mainstreaming efforts. As a result, women remain disproportionally responsible for unpaid care work, with major potential to improve public, accessible and affordable child and elderly care. In addition, new challenges arise: While presenting opportunities, emerging technologies and big data generate additional risks to expand the scale of persisting inequalities, and create new forms of divides.
This Report emphasizes effective public governance as a key to delivering gender equality results. Meaningful changes on the ground require a coordinated whole-of-government commitment and effective mechanisms to be able to translate public policies, services and budgets into concrete benefits for men and women from diverse backgrounds.
The launch will be followed by a high-level panel discussion on the development and progress in recent years of the closing of the gender gaps, the support of women’s public service leaderships and the removal of deeply rooted gender stereotypes across the OECD countries. The panel will also discuss the way forward in implementing key OECD policy messages put forward in this Report.
Data driven public sector = bias driven public sector?: Gender equality in the age of Big Data OECD, 13 March 2019, 10.30 am – 12.00 pm
Digital transformation and emerging technologies offer a considerable potential to better monitor, forecast and deliver public services better tailored to the needs of different user groups. This includes being able to better anticipate, identify and respond to women’s needs. Leveraging data as a strategic asset is crucial for governments to boost public sector intelligence and, as a result, increase the capability to develop sustainable and inclusive policies and services. However, it also increasingly raises the question of trust in and fairness of decision-making. While it might appear that data driven decision-making in the public sector yields to objective decisions, there is a caveat: data can mirror and perpetuate inequalities in our society.
An algorithm uses existing data to predict future needs, but the selection of data to be used is made by humans. Therefore, machine made decisions are only as bias-free as the data themselves. Gender biased data actually may be amplified and strengthened by machine made decisions. One example is the study that revealed that female job seekers are much less likely to be shown adverts on Google for highly paid jobs than men. The discussion will shape around how governments can fully harness the potential of digital transformation to speed-up the pace of gender equality progress. In doing so, it will also explore avenues to mitigate detrimental effects of big data and offering solutions to improve accountability.
Improving gender equality across societies has become a global priority. Despite the numerous movements for better equality, the gender agenda continues to be a victim of insidious forms of corruption, including sextortion and harassment. Moreover, corruption’s impact on women hinders their access to vital public services, and disproportionately affects their participation in political processes. Given that gender issues make up a crucial part of policy debates, failing to incorporate integrity into the discussions threatens to derail equitable progress.
This session looks at how governments, companies and NGOs can integrate the gender and integrity agendas to achieve better policy outcomes.