Families and children

Gender Publication - Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now


News release and press material Country NotesKey Data


Click on the cover for a free preview

ISBN Number:


Publication Date:

17 December 2012

Pages: 296

Gender gaps are pervasive in all walks of economic life and imply large losses in terms of foregone productivity and living standards to the individuals concerned and the economy. This new OECD report focuses on how best to close these gender gaps under four broad headings: 1) Gender equality, social norms and public policies; and gender equality in 2) education; 3) employment and 4) entrepreneurship.

Key policy messages are as follows:

  • Greater gender equality in educational attainment has a strong positive effect on economic growth;
  • Stereotyping needs to be addressed in educational choices at school from a young age. For example, adapt teaching strategies and material to increase engagement of boys in reading and of girls in maths and science; encourage more girls to follow science, engineering and maths courses in higher education and seek employment in these fields;
  • Good and affordable childcare is a key factor for better gender equality in employment. But change also has to happen at home as the bulk of housework and caring is left to women in many countries. Policy can support such change, for example, through parental leave policies that explicitly include fathers.
  • Support policies for women-owned enterprises need to target all existing firms, not just start-ups and small enterprises. Equal access to finance for male and female entrepreneurs needs to be assured.

Table of Contents (free .pdf)

Executive Summary (free .pdf)

Part I. Gender Equality: The Economic Case, Social Norms and Public Policies

Part II. Gender Equality in Education

Part III. Gender Equality in Employment

Part IV. Gender Equality in Entrepreneurship

News release and press material

  • Read the press release
  • Read the speech of the Secretary General on 17 December 2012
  • Read the speech of the Secretary General in Davos on 25 January 2013
  • Did you know...
    • Half of the economic growth in OECD countries in the past 50 years is due to increased educational attainment, particularly among women...
    • If participation rates for women were to reach those of men by 2030, there would be a 12% increase in GDP...
    • The number of female-owned enterprises has been growing at a faster pace than male-owned ones. However, women are still a minority among business owners...

Country Notes (in national language and English)


‌‌‌Austria   Mexico_small Mexico                
‌‌Belgium Netherlands_small Netherlands
Brazil_small ‌‌Brazil ‌‌ Norway
Canada_small ‌‌Canada ‌‌Poland
‌‌‌Chile ‌‌South Africa
France_small France ‌‌Spain
Germany Sweden
‌‌Italy ‌‌United Kingdom
‌‌‌Japan ‌‌United States
Korea, Republic_small ‌‌‌Korea    

Key Data

Related information and further reading

For additional documentation and data related to Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now

‌For access to all OECD publications and statistics or to purchase publications please go to our iLibrary or the OECD online bookshop.


  Animated gif - new slides 14 november  

 ‌Follow us on Twitter: @OECD_Social 


Bookmark this page: 



Related Documents