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:


  • Education at a Glance 2019 contains a wide range of indicators on gender differences in education (EAG, September 2019)

  • Three March 2020 focus reports on gender:
    • “How has women’s participation and fields of study choice in higher education evolved over time?” (based on EAG)
    • “Attitudes among adolescent boys and girls towards school and study” (OECD PISA); and
    • “Gender gaps in reading and maths: how do they evolve over the life course“ (OECD PIAAC)
  • PISA In Focus Why don’t more girls choose to pursue a science career? (February 2019)
  • 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

  • With the ILO and UN Women, the OECD established the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) to help achieve SDG target 8.5 focusing on equal pay between men and women for work of equal value. A technical meeting on “Effective measures to reduce the Gender Pay Gap” was held in Berlin February 2020



  • The Missing Entrepreneurs 2019 will be launched in Fall 2019. This will be 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, such as 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 fall 2019 it will release a follow-up study to the 2017 report report on the impact of legal frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia
  • In the context of the MENA-OECD Working Group on Corporate Governance the April 2019 publication on Corporate Governance in MENA: Building a Framework for Competitiveness and Growth will report on Improving Gender Balance in Corporate Leadership
  • The OECD Southeast Asia Gender Initiative supports gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship in the region through research and capacity building. Strengthening Women's Entrepreneurship in ASEAN assesses the landscape for women’s entrepreneurship in the region and offers concrete recommendations to unleash the potential of women in business
  • During 2018 OECD Eurasia Week , H.E. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, delivered the key note speech on Shaping the Future through Better Policies for Gender Equality. Participants from Eurasia countries discussed ways to overcome barriers to women’s economic participation in their economies

Corporate Governance

  • The 2019 edition of the OECD Corporate Governance Factbook will include new 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
  • The OECD and FAO are leading a project on responsible supply chains in agriculture and released a baseline report in 2018. The report found that 78% of companies covered have committed to eliminating discrimination against women and 90% verify compliance, but the level of verification diminishes along the supply chain


  • The GENDERNET - OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Network on Gender Equality - is the international forum for gender experts from DAC development co-operation agencies and foreign ministries
  • The OECD Development Centre's Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) 2019 globally measures discrimination against women in social institutions (formal and informal laws, social norms, and practices), across four broad themes: discrimination in the family, restricted physical integrity, restricted access to productive and financial resources and restricted civil liberties
  • Wikigender now includes a new strong focus on the SDGs, gender statistics and leading trends in gender and development. The online collaborative platform is available in English and French, and will be available in Spanish from March 2019 onwards

Financial Education


  • Women are overrepresented in care sector jobs that pay low salaries and are physically demanding. Women providing intensive care at home may well suffer mental health problems and are unlikely to find full-time jobs. A forthcoming 2019 OECD publication explores these issues and options to better support elderly care workers.

Digital Transformation and Science

  • 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 OECD Nuclear Energy Agency held two international Mentoring Workshops in STEM areas in 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, and Ávila, Spain, to motivate young female students to explore science and engineering careers, and to suggest ways to overcome any barriers that they may face along the way



  • 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 (February 2019, forthcoming)

Violence against Women

  • 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 leading work is focussed on strengthening public and justice sector capacities to tackle gender-based violence and to achieve equal access to justice for all (Riga, 2018)
  • The OECD supported the One Safe Place for Hope and Empowerment conference on violence against women (Paris, 2018. The event brought together government and community actors to advance a multidisciplinary approach to supporting the complex needs of women and their families who are victims of domestic violence
  • 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
  • The OECD will be hosting a High-Level Policy Dialogue on Violence Against Women in January 2020. The event will bring 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