Joining Forces for Gender Equality

What is Holding us Back?

OECD countries continue to face persistent gender inequalities in social and economic life. Young women often reach higher levels of education than young men, but remain under-represented in fields with the most lucrative careers. Women spend more time on unpaid work, face a strong motherhood penalty, encounter barriers to entrepreneurship and fare worse in labour markets overall. They are also under-represented in politics and leadership positions in public employment. These elements permeate many policy areas and economic sectors – from international trade and development assistance to energy and the environment – in which policy often lacks a strong gender focus. Violence against women, the most abhorrent manifestation of gender inequality, remains a global crisis. This publication analyses developments and policies for gender equality, such as gender mainstreaming and budgeting, reforms to increase fathers’ involvement in parental leave and childcare, pay transparency initiatives to tackle gender pay gaps, and systems to address gender-based violence. It extends the perspective on gender equality to include foreign direct investment, nuclear energy and transport. Advancing gender equality is not just a moral imperative; in times of rapidly ageing populations, low fertility and multiple crises, it will strengthen future gender-equal economic growth and social cohesion.

Published on May 09, 2023Also available in: French


Executive summary
Mainstreaming gender equality
Global goals in gender equality
Legal frameworks, institutional design and strategic planning for gender mainstreaming
Governance tools and evidence to promote inclusive decision making
Gender mainstreaming in environmental policies
Systems and legal frameworks to address gender-based violence
Improving policy implementation to end gender-based violence
Participation and performance of girls and boys in education
Gender differences in career expectations and feminisation of the teaching profession
The gender gap in school engagement and retention
Gender gaps in Vocational Education and Training (VET) and adult learning
Gender differences in financial literacy and resilience
Women at work in OECD countries
Improving gender equality in public employment
The labour market integration challenges of Ukrainian refugee women
The gender wage gap and the role of firms
Gender diversity on boards and in senior management
Gender equality in public leadership
Gender diversity in energy
Gender balance in the nuclear sector
Assessing gender equality in transport policies
Gender gaps in asset-backed pension arrangements
Supporting equal parenting: Paid parental leave
Ensuring the availability, quality and affordability of childcare
Tax systems and gender
Teleworking through a gender lens
Pay transparency to close the gender wage gap
Gender gaps in entrepreneurship remain
Addressing gender disparities in access to finance for business creation
Women entrepreneurs and international trade
Harnessing foreign direct investment for gender equality
Women and the social economy
The potential of digitalisation for women’s economic empowerment in MENA countries
Powered by OECD iLibrary