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OECD Gender Initiative



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 Gender data browser   l   What's new?  l  Key facts

Despite numerous improvements in women’s educational and employment outcomes, many countries have not achieved gender equality in economic opportunities and outcomes.


Recognising the importance of gender equality, the OECD has embarked on a Horizontal Project in Gender Equality in three areas key to economic performance: Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship.



What's new?

17 December 2012: Gender Forum and launch of the publication "Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now!"  

22nd May 2012: Final Report to the Ministerial Council Meeting on the Gender Initiative: Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship.

Press release: Tackle gender gap to boost growth, says OECD 

8 Key facts:

1. Student performance in reading and mathematics

2. Percentage of university degrees awarded to women by field of education 

3. Labour force participation rate and part-time employment 

4. Minutes of unpaid work per day 

5. Gender gap in median earnings for full-time employees 

6. Share of women on boards 

7. Proportion of employed women who are business owners 

8. Share of women in parliament 

[Download all the text and charts in one .xls file]


1. Student performance in reading and mathematics, PISA 2009

Girls significantly outperform boys in reading in all OECD countries. Boys are ahead in mathematics, but the gender gap is small compared to reading.



Source: OECD PISA 2009

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2. Percentage of university degrees awarded to women by field of education, 2009

At university, women and men choose different fields of study.


In 2009, on average, only 26% of graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction were women, compared to more than 75% of graduates in health and welfare degrees.


Source: OECD Education at a Glance 2011

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3. Labour force participation rate and part-time employment, 2010

Women are still less likely than men to participate in the labour market. When in employment, they are also more likely to work part-time.


In 2010, on average across OECD countries, 65% of women were in the labour force compared to 79% of men. Around 25% of women in employment worked part-time, compared to only 8% of employed men.


Source: OECD Employment database

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4. Minutes of unpaid work per day, 1999-2009

Women do more unpaid work than men.


In all OECD countries, women spend more time than men doing unpaid work: on average more than 2 extra hours per day. In Turkey men spend less than 2 hours a day in unpaid work, compared with over 6 hours for women. By contrast, Norwegian men spend more than 2 hours per day in unpaid work, only one hour less than Norwegian women.


Source: OECD calculations based on Time Use Surveys

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5. Gender gap in median earnings for full-time employees, 2000 and 2010

Although the gender wage gap has narrowed over time, it is still large.


Among full-time employees in 2010, women earned, on average, 16% less than men. Hungary had the smallest gender gap in wages (6%). In Korea women earned, on average, 39% less than men.


Source: OECD Employment database

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6. Share of women on boards, 2009

Women are still under-represented in top corporate jobs.


In 2009, on average, women occupied only 10% of board seats in listed companies. This percentage varied greatly across countries, from 3% in Germany to 38% in Norway.


Source: OECD calculation based on ORBIS data

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7. Proportion of business owners with employees on population in employment, 2010


Women are less likely than men to own a business and employ others.


On average in 2010, only 2% of women in work were employers, compared with 6% of men. In Estonia, only 1% of working women owned a business which employed other people, while this percentage was highest in Greece at 4%.


Source: OECD calculation based on Labour Force Surveys

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8. Share of women in parliament, 1995 and 2011


Women’s presence in national parliaments has increased, but gender gaps are still large.


In 2011, on average, women were occupying 25% of parliamentary seats in single or lower chambers of parliament, up from 16% in 1995. Cross-national variation is large: from 9% in Hungary to 45% in Sweden.


Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union

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Related Documents


More on the OECD Gender Initiative

OECD work on gender - www.oecd.org/gender

OECD Gender data browser