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 2020 contains a wide range of indicators on gender differences in education, including data on attainment, entry, graduation, and employment and earnings, disaggregating them on the basis of gender (along with several other characteristics)

  • PISA 2018 includes data on leaning outcomes in Reading, Maths and sciences and on attitudes among adolescent boys and girls towards school and study (reports released in 2019-2020)

  • PIAAC includes data on adults skills by gender, as well as use of skills at work
  • Also forthcoming in 2021 are:
    • The Future at Five: Gendered aspirations of five-year-olds Gender norms are evident in what many children say at age five about what they want to be or do when they grow up, according to new data from the OECD International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study
    • SSES (social and emotional skills survey): a new assessment on social and emotional skills and students’ well-being, includes data by gender of 10 and 15 years-old
    • Gender gaps in school and in the labour market: a forthcoming report will look at gender gaps in school and in the labour market based mainly on PISA, PIAAC and EAG data
    • Gender differences in social and emotional skills: a forthcoming thematic report will examine gender differences in social and emotional skills among boys and girls, and the types of environments, in schools, with peers and at home, that can influence these skills
    • Skills in Ibero-America: Insights from PIAAC – gender differences: jointly with the World Bank we are co-producing a short report analysing the difference in skills by gender in the Latin American countries participating in PIAAC
    • Strength through Diversity: a forthcoming working paper will examine 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.

Employment and work-life balance


  • Entrepreneurship Policies through a Gender Lens examines how to strengthen the scope and effectiveness of entrepreneurship policies for women (May 2021)

  • The OECD’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WE Initiative) forms an umbrella for the various thematic pillars of CFE’s work with a gender lens, including SME access to finance, Social Economy and Social Innovation, Women in Tech, Business Development Services, Inclusive Entrepreneurship and national/regional country reviews

  • The OECD in collaboration with the European Commission has been producing a series of reports called The Missing Entrepreneurs. The series examines how to address obstacles to business creation by people from groups that are under-represented in entrepreneurship, including women. The 2021 edition will be published in October

  • New content is regularly added to the OECD/EU Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool, which supports policy makers in the design and implementation of tailored entrepreneurship schemes for women and other target groups (e.g. youth), and social entrepreneurship support

  • Dedicated webinar on Women enterprise policy and COVID-19 in July 2020

  • CFE has been tracking closely the various SME policy responses to COVID-19 by governments. A new update (end March 2021) will include a new section on impacts and policies to support women and minority-owned businesses

  • Similarly, CFE has been tracking the policy responses of cities to COVID-19, which includes looking at local actions to address a range of gender issues such as domestic violence and care responsibilities

  • Mapping the availability of gender-disaggregated in data in the area of access to finance by SMEs and entrepreneurs across most OECD members and a few non-members. We will identify a small set of pilot countries to carry out more comprehensive analysis on the issue

  • The Future of Business Survey is carried out jointly by Facebook, the OECD and the World Bank. From May 2020, monthly Global State of Small Business Reports showed how SMEs with an online presence were coping with the global pandemic and highlighted the gender-differentiated impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures

  • The OECD actively contributes to the establishment of an internationally agreed definition of a Women-owned business and to guidance on its use. Such a definition would support the promotion of gender inclusivity and international data comparability in domains such as access to finance and access to markets

  • The Champion Mayors Initiative Podcast “Gender Equality and the COVID-19 Recovery Opportunity” will be released on March 8th, and feature conversations with Champion Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria (Canada) and Diana Rodríguez Franco, Secretary of Women in Bogota,(Colombia) who will discuss the needs of women in cities.

Public governance

  • 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
  • OECD has launched the monitoring process for the 2015 Recommendation on Gender Equality in Public Life [OECD/LEGAL/0418]. The results will be presented to the OECD Council in Spring 2022 

  • 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
  • The GMG advances work on implications of the workplace transformation on gender equality and the use of behavioural insights; as well as Deepening intersectional approaches to gender mainstreaming. New working paper are underway

  • In 2020, the OECD released the report Gender Equality in Colombia: Access to Justice and Politics at the Local Level. It focuses on women’s political empowerment and access to justice through multi-dimensional empowerment continuum. The work was supported by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency

  • In 2021, the OECD will publish papers on Gender Budgeting and Infrastructure and Integrating a Gender Perspective into Spending Reviews. The OECD will also collect data on the implementation of SDG indicator 5.c.1, which looks at countries’ systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment 

  • In the context of the Working Party of the Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement, the work is underway to explore the nexus between gender equality, public procurement and responsible business conduct.


  • The Forum on Tax Administration has established the FTA Gender Balance Network (GBN). The aim of the GBN is to help improve gender balance within tax administrations by identifying effective policies and practices to promote gender equality, including by leveraging the more balanced position that already exists in some administrations

  • The Gender Balance Network released a report “Advancing Gender Balance in the Workforce: A Collective Responsibility” in November 2020, as well as a newsletter on the activities of the GBN, including a short report on the challenges and opportunities for gender balance arising from the COVID-19 crisis

  • It has also published a video interview between Commissioner Naomi Ferguson and Grace Perez-Navarro on Gender Balance in Tax Administrations, in November 2020 as well as interviews with the Commissioners for Argentina and Sweden contained in the newsletter

  • June 2020 saw the release of a blogpost outlining the impact of tax on gender, particularly in the COVID-19 crisis: In Tax, Gender Blind is not Gender Neutral: why tax policy responses to COVID-19 must consider women

  • In January 2021, a video on Tax and Gender: Releasing Potential was presented to the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting meeting

  • Annual modelling of effective tax rates on labour income for different household types allows the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) to provide insights into the incentives provided by the tax system for second earners, who are typically women, to participate in the labour market

  • CTPA is working with OECD country officials to model the tax burden on (male and female) part-time workers to better understand the impact of taxation on this group. Women are three times as likely to work part-time than men across the OECD. A paper is expected in late 2021

  • On March 26 2021, the Centre for Tax Policy will host a March on Gender event on tax policy, the impact of COVID-19 on women’s employment, gender and tax policy in developing countries and gender budgeting. More information is available here

  • A recent working paper on tax policy and inclusive growth calls governments and policymakers to consider the gender impact of tax and transfer policy reforms as a core element in promoting women’s economic participation and in inclusive growth.

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) released a 2020 report on Changing laws and breaking barriers for women’s economic empowerment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Future work will focus on strengthening law enforcement, boosting women’s participation in the private sector, and improving data governance

  • The OECD-MENA Country Programmes support MENA countries, such as Morocco, in promoting and tracking progress towards greater gender equality and mainstream gender across policy areas

  • In 2020, the MENA-OECD Working Group on Corporate Governance assessed improvements in gender balance in MENA’s corporate leadership based on the report Corporate Governance in MENA: Building a Framework for Competitiveness and Growth. Political leadership and collective action are key factors in making durable progress
  • The OECD Southeast Asia Gender Initiative supports gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship in the region through research and capacity building. A report on strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector, is scheduled for released in 2021

  • Gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Towards a better sharing of paid and unpaid work focuses on women's disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work in the region. Reports on Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru will appear in 2021 and an overview is due in 2022

  • The OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme considered the impact of COVID-19 on women in Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia, and identified priority areas for an inclusive recovery for all. Gender Gaps in Eurasia: The daunting effects of COVID-19 will appear in English and Russian, March 8, 2021.

Corporate Governance


  • 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 DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance 

    aims to strengthen international co-operation and collaboration in implementation of the recommendation
  • The OECD publish annual data and analysis on financing in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment from DAC donors and provide guidance on good practices and policies for gender equality and women’s empowerment, including gender mainstreaming

  • Addressing COVID-19 prevention and response in light of challenges women face as frontline healthcare providers, caregivers in households or potential victims of violence, abuse or harassment, a key problem seen in confinements due to pandemics/epidemics

  • Strengthening gender equality and women’s empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected situations is critical for achieving sustainable peace and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • The OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures discrimination against women in social institutions (formal and informal laws, social norms, and practices) in 180 countries across four broad themes: discrimination in the family, restricted physical integrity, restricted access to productive and financial resources and restricted civil liberties

  • 2020/21 SIGI publications include the SIGI 2020 Regional Report for Latin America and Caribbean (July 2020) the SIGI 2021 Regional Report on Southeast Asia (March 2021) and the SIGI 2021 Regional Report for Africa (Q4 2021)

  • The joint 2020 OECD-W20 report (December 2020) updates the assessment of the 2019 OECD –W20 report and provides an overview of the progress made since last year and remaining challenges in all G20 countries across three pillars: labour inclusion, financial inclusion and inclusive decision-making 

  • “Man enough? Measuring masculine norms to promote women’s empowerment” (March 2021) seeks to identify and describe ten norms of restrictive masculinities within the political, economic and private spheres and to compare them with their gender-equitable alternatives, while providing a roadmap to strengthen the measurement of changing norms of masculinities

  • The upcoming SIGI Country Studies on Tanzania (September 2021) and Côte d’Ivoire (Q4 2021) aim to provide a deep understanding of how discrimination against women plays out at a sub-national level, particularly in relation to compounding factors such as urban/rural differences, socio-economic status, ethnicity and education levels

  • Wikigender includes a strong focus on the SDGs, gender statistics and leading trends in gender and development. The online collaborative platform is available in English, French and Spanish

  • In 2020, PARIS21 partnered with UN Women to conduct gender statistics assessments in the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Egypt, El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho and the Maldives. Insights from the assessments will inform strategies to improve gender statistics at the national level

  • Throughout 2020, PARIS21 supported capacity development projects to strengthen participatory approaches to gender statistics. This included projects in the Philippines on community-based monitoring, as well as in Kenya and the Maldives on using citizen-generated data to close SDG data gaps

  • In July 2020, PARIS21 launched a free e-learning course in partnership with UN Women on ‘Communicating Gender Statistics’, designed for journalists and statisticians. A second course on women’s economic empowerment statistics will launch in Q1 of 2021

  • The latest PARIS21 PRESS Report provided insights on donor financial support for gender statistics, including trends in funding for COVID-19 response

  • As the secretariat of the Bern Network, PARIS21 introduced plans for a Clearinghouse Platform for Development Data during the 2020 virtual World Data forum. The platform, which is set to launch in 2021, will include a dedicated channel on gender statistics

  • The OECD is developing a Policy Toolkit on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and gender equality, which will help improve the contribution of FDI to gender equality in host countries. Developed within the  FDI Qualities Initiative, the Policy Toolkit will be presented at the Roundtable on Investment and Sustainable Development in October 2021

  • The SWAC/OECD launched a compilation of viewpoints on the theme “Women and food security” (in French) gathered over the years on the sidelines of the Food Crisis Prevention Network meetings (RPCA) in Dakar, Lomé and Paris. It also offers two "Maps&Facts" issues on Gender disparities in trade networks and Women and conflict.

Financial Education


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 Digital Toolkit report presents the gender dimension across a number of key indicators

  • A number of indicators related to gender were included in an OECD report for the G20 “A Roadmap Toward a Common Framework for Measuring the Digital Economy

  • The under-representation of women in certain areas of science, technology and innovation has long been a concern. The OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2021 finds that the current academic system discriminates against women and a number of social groups leading to a lack of diversity in the research workforce 

  • The insecurity of research careers is a major obstacle to advancing gender equality and social diversity in the research workforce. The project on Reducing Precarity of Research Careers aims to identify policies and procedures that could promote better strategic planning and research careers in the public sector

  • Responses to the OECD Science Flash Survey 2020 suggest that the pandemic is having detrimental effects on job security and career opportunities in science, research funding and time available for doing research. Younger researchers and women are particularly vulnerable to these effects

  • STI will organise a co-ordinated virtual event with ITF on 29th March 2021 to examine the issue of gender bias in AI data, through the data value cycle, and best practices and policy recommendations to address it.



  • The Discussion paper The Gender Dimension of the Transport Workforce analyses the relationship between female participation in the transport workforce and variables such as GDP per capita, education and labour laws. It also includes recommendations on how to develop policies that foster gender equality in the transport workforce

  • The third edition of the ITF Compendium Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development: A Gender Perspective (2021) assembles voices from the transport sector that highlight positive examples of how women as transport users can benefit from the innovations that are transforming the transport sector

  • ITF Consultation on Gender and Transport, 11 February 2021, is an annual forum for ITF stakeholders for sharing best practices with regard to gender and transport. This year the consultation focused on the 2021 Summit theme Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development: Reshaping Mobility in the Wake of Covid-19

  • Corporate Partnership Board workshops planned for March 2021: Women’s Networks and Mentoring and Workshop on Data Bias in AI and Machine Learning
  • For more information please consult our website: ITF Work on Gender in Transport.


  • Representatives from ministries, regulators, the nuclear industry, and technical support organisations of 13 NEA member countries participated in the Second NEA Working Meeting on Improving Gender Balance in Nuclear Energy on 11-12 February 2021 to identify the policy proposals needed to improve the gender balance in the nuclear sector

  • The NEA co-operates with national organisations to hold joint international mentoring workshops aimed at female junior- and high school students to encourage them to pursue STEM careers, including in the nuclear sector. The most recent was held virtually from 15-17 December 2020 with high school students from Fukushima, Japan

  • Two NEA webinars on gender balance in May 2020 underscored why gender diversity is important for the nuclear sector. The first on leadership featured Dr Rita Baranwal. At the second, young professionals discussed “How do we encourage more women to enter the nuclear science and technology field?” 

  • The NEA develops targeted communications to increase engagement and enhance the contribution of women in the nuclear sector. A recent 2021 video campaign features NEA female scientists

  • The Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy, an NEA initiative connecting academic institutions with NEA member countries and nuclear energy stakeholders, includes achieving gender balance in nuclear technology and academia as a strategic priority

  • The Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology Framework (NEST), a multi-national partnership to nurture the next generation of nuclear subject matter experts through international collaborative research projects, also includes measures to increase gender awareness, enhance monitoring and accountability, and improve the work environment through appropriate human resource policies

  • Gender diversity is an integral part of IEA’s modernisation strategy. To advance work in this area the IEA Executive Director has established a Gender Task force. Further information and outputs are uploaded regularly on IEA’s website

    • IEA has been invited by the C3E International members to coordinate and support their work on knowledge and data collection for the energy sector. Currently, C3E International is preparing the third gender tracking report for the energy sector that will be released in June 2021

    • IEA is currently developing a questionnaire for governments to respond on their main policies, methodologies for collecting data and other relevant activities that will provide input to the report. IEA will liaise with relevant OECD directorates to avoid duplication of work

    • IEA’s Energy Date Centre is currently mapping existing energy sector data disaggregated on gender and is working closely with OECD colleagues. Similarly, an exercise is ongoing with C3E International and IEA member countries on existing energy/gender data sources

    • IEA will present additional analytical outputs in 2021 related to gender balance in decision-making, wage gaps and entrepreneurship

    • Building upon the strong support from members and the 2019 IEA Ministerial mandate on gender, the IEA Secretariat plans to present a progress report to Governing board on the achievements since the Ministerial meeting.


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

  • The OECD is launching in March 2021 the conversation series “Truth Hurts,” which will feature practitioners addressing gender-based violence in conversation with OECD officials 

  • The OECD is a partner in the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies. This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to drive change and foster accountability in policies, systems and mechanisms, to mitigate gender-based violence risks against women and girls in settings of humanitarian crisis

  • The GMG established its technical advisory group on tackling gender-based violence (GBV). Work is underway to finalise the OECD Framework on Strengthening Governance and Survivor-centric Approaches to Tackling GBV. The OECD aims to launch a survey instrument in this area in 2021 and a comparative report is due for 2022.

  • Latest information on OECD work on Violence against Women via