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 2022 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)

  • A series of In-focus briefs on gender was published in 2022 and more are planned for 2023:
  • Gender, Education and Skills: The persistence of gender gaps in education and skills (2023) analyses progress towards gender equality in education, focusing on gender differences in reading, mathematics and science; why high-performing girls invest less than high-performing boys in mathematics and science skills; and gender differences in career choices

  • Jointly with the World Bank, the OECD is co-producing a short report on “Skills in Ibero-America – Insights from PIAAC on gender differences”, analysing the difference in skills by gender in the Latin American countries participating in PIAAC. Publication is expected in May 2023

  • A report on “Gender career choices with focus on gender and STEM careers” is forthcoming

  • The 2023 Skills Outlook on Recovery and Resilience by the Centre for Skills is forthcoming in September 2023. Preliminary evidence highlights gender differences in skills that are key for sustainable and inclusive economic growth - including health literacy, environmental sustainability competence and skills to navigate and understand digital information

  • Gender differences are a challenge in vocational education and training (VET) systems. Country reports, e.g. Strengthening Apprenticeship in Scotland, United Kingdom (2022), highlight gender differences in VET participation. Ongoing work on the future of VET discusses policies to break gender stereotypes (forthcoming under OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training)

  • The 2022 report Pathways to Professions - Understanding Higher Vocational and Professional Tertiary Education Systems also highlights gender differences in participation in higher vocational or professional tertiary education programmes

  • The Centre for Skills is examining gender differences in key life skills, such as swimming, and the implication such differences have for labour market participation, health and safety as well as personal fulfilment and well-being. In this framework, it published Swimming skills around the world in November 2022

  • A project on cybersecurity education and training programmes will discuss how to encourage female learners to enrol in this field. A first report on England, United Kingdom will be published in March 2023 (under OECD Skills Studies), followed by reports on Colombia and France in July and December 2023, respectively

  • The International VET assessment (PISA-VET) initiative, currently under development, promotes VET and to break gender stereotypes in VET and the selected occupational areas. It focuses on occupational areas selected so that male and female learners are represented roughly equally: car mechatronics, electrician, business and administration, healthcare, and tourism and hospitality

  • The Centre for Skills is cooperating with the Joint Research Centre at the European Commission on gender differences in environmental sustainability competence. Two working papers have been published in 2022 on Young people’s environmental sustainability competence and on The environmental sustainability competence toolbox

  • Recent Economics Departments (ECO)’s work on South Africa suggests that the local shortage in university seats is hurting disproportionally women and black citizens, who benefit the most from tertiary education. The gender differences in skills accumulation were also analysed for Korea.

Employment and work-life balance

  • An update and extension of Over the Rainbow? The Road to LGBTI Inclusion, expected in Spring/Summer 2024.
  • A country review series on LGBTI+ inclusion. The first volume The Road to LGBTI+ Inclusion in Germany: Progress at the Federal and Länder Levels, published in February 2023, explores legal and policy progress towards LGBTI+ equality in Germany at the national level and in each of the 16 Bundesländer.
  • An overview of school-based policies in OECD countries to combat homo- and transphobia and an impact evaluation of some of these policies, based on a randomised control trial (RCT) in France, to published in Spring/Summer 2024. The results of the RCT will be released in June 2023.
  • An assessment of the economic returns of strengthening LGBTI+ inclusion in the labour market, based on country representative microdata. The first study, devoted to the US, will be published late 2023/early 2024.


Public governance


OECD Regional Initiatives on Governance and Competitiveness

Competition, Corporate Governance and Investment


  • 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. Its “GENDERNET plus” format supports exchanges with representatives from non-DAC countries, multilateral organisations, development banks, DFIs, civil society and the private sector

  • The Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) conducts data and policy analysis on Development finance for gender equality and women’s empowerment: the OECD publishes annual data and analysis on financing in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment from DAC donors and other non-DAC providers

  • Guidance on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in development co-operation (2022) addresses fundamentals for development partners to be effective: leadership and policy framework, planning and design, implementation and programming, finance for gender equality and women’s empowerment, results monitoring and evaluation, and gender equality delivery

  • The OECD DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEAH) in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance supports institutional and collective action on SEAH prevention and response. A Toolkit supporting implementation and learning is forthcoming; the DAC Reference Group on Ending SEAH continues as a multi-stakeholder venue for exchange

  • Analysis of DAC members’ policies in support of women’s economic empowerment (2022) examines DAC members’ efforts to advance women’s economic empowerment within their development co-operation and gender equality policies

  • Aid in Support of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – Donor charts (2023) shows statistics based on DAC Members’ reporting on the Gender Equality Policy Marker

  • ODA for climate, biodiversity and gender equality: A snapshot (2022) focuses on how official development assistance (ODA) can be leveraged to support gender-responsive climate action

  • Blended finance for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (2022) analyses the role of blended finance on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and shows how it can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Financing for gender equality in the Sahel and West Africa (2022) highlights the current financing for the gender equality landscape in the region

  • The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) is the OECD Development Centre (DEV)’s flagship programme on gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment. The new website and the Gender Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB) was released in March 2023 and the SIGI 2023 Global Report in July 2023

  • The SIGI Country Study for Tanzania (2022) provides a new evidence base to improve the rights and well-being of women and girls in Tanzania and promote gender equality through the elimination of discrimination in social institutions

  • The SIGI Country Study for Côte d’Ivoire (2022) exploits new quantitative and qualitative data on social norms and practices to analyse how discriminatory social institutions are at the heart of inequalities between Ivorian men and women, particularly in education and economic empowerment

  • DEV will prepare a SIGI MENA assessment containing detailed country profiles of 19 countries of the MENA region, based on the data collected for the SIGI 2023 in the MENA region and on participatory workshops organised in four countries of the region 2023

  • DEV will prepare a SIGI 2023 Regional Report for Southeast Asia that will build on the data collected for the SIGI 2023 and will provide a deep-dive analysis of and recommendations for the specific challenges faced by the region

  • Women around the world are facing unprecedented levels of targeted political violence, including in West Africa. Political violence targeting women in the Sahel and West Africa, published in 2022 by OECD’s Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC), tracks how women are targeted, and who is targeting women

  • PARIS21 strengthens the gender data ecosystems in low and middle income countries to equip them to innovate and improve the reporting on SDGs and other development goals: see latest country examples

  • Integrating a gender perspective in statistical planning and communication is central to PARIS21’s support to national statistical offices. This support takes place during the design of National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS gender module), during training on communicating gender data and data planning (e.g. ADAPT gender module)

  • In March 2023, PARIS21 published Counting on Gender Data, which summarises its 3-year partnership with UN Women’s “Women Count” programme on supporting low- and middle-income countries in integrating gender data in their national statistical systems

  • PARIS21 is the secretariat of the Gender Data Network (GDN) - a joint initiative between PARIS21, Data2X, UNECA, and Open Data Watch which supports better gender data production, communication and use. In November 2022, the GDN held an in-person meeting as part of the African Gender Statistics Workshop in Nairobi

  • PARIS21’s online platform Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data presents patterns of financing for data and statistics, including for gender data. It helps countries and development partners identify funding opportunities, bring projects to scale and connect to new partners. A webinar on gender data financing took place in February 2023

  • PARIS21 monitors the funding for statistics through its annual Partner Report on Support to Statistics (PRESS). The 2022 edition of PRESS has showed that investments in gender data declined even as overall funding for gender equality increased

  • In 2023, PARIS21 supports the governments and statistics offices in Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives and Rwanda to analyse the patterns of gender data use by policymakers. Follow PARIS21 on Twitter and LinkedIn

  • SWAC’s new podcast series “Women leading change” tells the stories of women as civil society actors, activists, leaders, humanitarian workers, youth representatives and entrepreneurs in West Africa. It gathers examples of their outstanding work within local communities as well as their contributions to advancing gender equality and positive change

  • SWAC’s data platform, MAPTA, provides data on political violence targeting women in West Africa over the past 20 years. This data is critical to providing a better understanding of the nature and severity of violence against women and an important step to informing more gender-focused responses to conflict

  • “Maps & Facts: Gender-sensitive tools for food crisis prevention and management”, forthcoming in March 2023, aims for more balanced representation of women and men in data collection; specific interventions against gender-based violence; and priority targeting of women heads of households, internally displaced women and elderly women, among others.

Financial Education and Financial Consumer Protection

  • The OECD Recommendation on Financial Literacy adopted by the OECD Council during the 2020 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting encourages Adherents to take into account the needs of women in developing their financial literacy policies and programmes

  • The Recommendation on the G20/OECD High-Level Principles on Financial Consumer Protection was updated in 2022 to ensure it reflects best practices, is forward-looking, and enhances protections for consumers experiencing vulnerability, which may arise from factors such as gender. The Principles are the leading international standard for financial consumer protection frameworks

  • The report Financial literacy, financial awareness, digitalisation and MSMEs in South East Europe (forthcoming March 2023) shows limited gender differences in the financial literacy and financial account holding of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) owners and managers in South East Europe

  • The OECD/INFE 2023 International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy (publication expected in November 2023) will describe gender differences in financial literacy, financial resilience and financial well-being in about 30 countries around the world.


  • Health indicators disaggregated by gender are available on the OECD Gender Data Portal

  • Health at a Glance: Europe 2022 showed that while women live five years more than men on average across EU and OECD countries, the gender gap in healthy life years is much smaller, as women tend to spend a greater proportion of their lives with health issues and activity limitations

  • There are also important gender gaps in risk factors to health: for example, smoking rates continue to be much higher among men, as highlighted in Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific, released in 2022

  • The New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) initiative analysed gender equality and women's health in the 2022 report A Systemic Recovery, outlining gender differences in outcomes for brain health disorders across the lifespan, with strikingly negative outcomes for women

  • As part of the 2022 OECD March on Gender initiative, a seminar on Innovations to Address Women’s Brain Health Inequalities looked into differences in neurological outcomes between men and women, supported by the Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative (NIPI)

  • The NIPI has established a working group of gender experts, neuroscientists and medical professionals to look at gender differences in brain health outcomes. In 2022, the group published a piece on Violence Against Women and Acquired Brain Injuries on Psychiatric Times.

Digital Transformation, Technology and Science


  • Two ENV indicators have been identified and are being populated with data disaggregated by gender: mortality rates from air pollution; and development of green technologies, based on patenting activity. Work has started to develop an indicator of exposure to environmental risks but lack of harmonised data is a major obstacle

  • The OECD, with UNDP and UN WOMEN, have developed a COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker with a Green Lens. This tracker builds on the UN COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker and the OECD Green Recovery Database, and identifies green and gender-sensitive measures through the gender-environment nexus

  • A report on Empowering women in the transition towards green growth in Greece, focusing on the gender-environment nexus in the Greek policy framework, was launched in July 2022

  • The working paper Women’s leadership in environmental action (2022) reviews evidence on women’s environmental leadership in public governance, environmentally-sensitive industries, and civil society, and its impact on environmental outcomes in these sectors. It also identifies potential policy actions as well as areas for further data collection and research

  • Supporting Women's Empowerment through Green Policies and Finance (2022) examines linkages and synergies between these two policy agendas and explores the role of green policies, finance and infrastructure in supporting women’s empowerment and gender equality. The policy paper was discussed at the 2022 OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment

  • A section on gender diversity and women’s empowerment will be included in the upcoming Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation Policy Review for Egypt planned to be completed for mid-2023

  • Over the course of 2023, the OECD Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation Programme (CEFIM) and the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) will host a series of technical Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to assist OJK’s efforts to integrate gender in the Indonesian sustainable finance agenda

  • All upcoming Environmental Performance and Green Growth Policy Reviews will include a gender dimension, examining aspects such as the differentiated exposure to environmental risks by gender, the contribution of gender equality to the low-carbon transition and the circular economy and the opportunities for women’s economic empowerment created by green growth

  • A gender dimension will be included in analysis of climate change impacts and policies under the OECD International Programme for Action on Climate (IPAC). Work is planned to develop country case studies on socio-demographic exposure to climate-related hazards.


  • The International Transport Forum (ITF)’s Gender Analysis Toolkit for Transport Policies (2022) provides guidance to ITF member countries and other stakeholders on how to conduct gender analysis for transport policies. The ITF is currently developing a road map to implement the Toolkit across all ITF projects as relevant

  • Joint ITF and FIA Foundation report on the Role of Gender Equality in Decarbonising the Transport Sector (2022) examines the linkages between gender equality, transport and climate change and provides guiding principles with specific actions to help countries and companies align their gender equality and decarbonising transport goals by 2050

  • The 8th edition of the ITF Annual Consultation on Gender and Transport, an annual forum for ITF stakeholders for sharing best practices, was held to explore the gender aspect of the 2023 Summit on Transport Enabling Sustainable Economies, 24-26 May 2023 in Leipzig, Germany

  • The Global Aviation Gender Summit will take place on 5-7 July 2023, Madrid, Spain. It is intended to be a global gathering for gender equality convened by ICAO and co-hosted by the government of Spain, in partnership with European Commission, the ILO, UN Women, and the ITF

  • ITF’s gender-specific accessibility study in Ghana, in collaboration with Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) at the OECD (forthcoming in 2023)

  • ITF’s Accessibility assessment of the Seoul Capital Area through an equity lens is forthcoming in 2023


  • In 2022, the International Energy Agency (IEA) launched a Gender and Energy Data explorer, including indicators on gender gaps in the energy sector in employment, wages, senior management, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Data have unprecedented granularity, thanks to collaborations with OECD Directorates and the European Patent Office

  • In 2022, there has been dedicated text or chapters on gender diversity in IEA’s country reviews on Canada, Poland, Hungary, and Italy (forthcoming) as well as the Africa Energy Outlook, World Energy Employment Report, CEM-EPI report on Skills Development and Inclusivity for Clean Energy Transitions, and Coal Net-Zero Emissions Report

  • Based on matched employer-employee data collected as part of the OECD LinkEED project, the IEA published an article on understanding gender gaps in wages, employment and career trajectories in the energy sector in August 2022

  • The IEA serves as the coordinator for the Equality in Energy Transitions initiative’s (formerly C3E International) Work Stream 1 on Data Collection, Knowledge Building, and Policies. The initiative operates under both the Clean Energy Ministerial and the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programme

  • Building on results from a gender policy questionnaire sent to energy ministries in IEA member countries in 2021, the IEA and the Equality in Energy Transitions initiative are developing a policy-makers’ manual for gender mainstreaming in energy ministries, mapping challenges and providing policy recommendations for advancing gender balance and diversity

  • The IEA “Careers in Energy” speaker series is being relaunched to invite women who work in the energy field to speak about their career choices and challenges

  • The IEA’s Gender Diversity Initiative aims to support member governments on gender policies and data. The IEA Gender Advisory Council, consisting of senior officials from IEA member countries, provides guidance for both the IEA Secretariat and member governments in their gender mainstreaming practices

  • In March 2022, the IEA Ministerial meeting renewed the mandate to promote gender equality and diversity across the energy sector, and within the IEA, including through improved data, the IEA Gender Advisory Council, and in cooperation with C3E International


  • OECD’s work on well-being and the OECD Well-being Framework highlight inequalities in all well-being outcomes by gender, age and educational attainment. These statistics are included in the regular How’s Life? reports,  in the How’s Life? Well-Being database on OECD.Stat, and in country profiles for all OECD members

  • Gender differences in well-being are mainstreamed in the WISE Centre’s work on child well-being data. The OECD Child Well-being Dashboard was launched in July 2022 at the same time as an update to the OECD Child Well-being Data Portal. Almost all data portal’s indicators can be disaggregated by sex

  • The OECD Better Life Index integrates information on gender inequality across its twelve domains of well-being

  • The OECD Time Use Database shows the average amount of time women and men spend in daily activities, with a focus on unpaid work

  • In January 2022, the WISE Centre published a paper on Measuring the non-financial performance of business through the well-being lens, which considers horizontal inequalities in stakeholder well-being in a transversal manner, including differences between men and women

  • The WISE Centre published The Short and Winding Road to 2030: Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets (2022), a new edition of the report Measuring Distance to SDGs Targets, showing how far OECD countries are from achieving targets for all 17 sustainable development goals, including Goal 5 on Gender Equality

  • The OECD COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard mainstreams the gender-related aspects in measuring recovery efforts consistently with a broader set of SDG indicators

  • Gender is an integral part of the forecasting and policy evaluation tools the WISE Centre has developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy. Gender-specific models ensure that findings and policy recommendations can be tailored to the needs of women and men

  • A two-year project on the state of discrimination in the EU and its impact on society, the economy and public finances was launched in late 2022. The project will assess how gender interacts with other legally protected characteristics to create cumulative disadvantage

  • The WISE Centre has led the creation of the new OECD Observatory on Social Mobility and Equal Opportunity, which aims at developing and mainstreaming evidence on social mobility, equal opportunity, and related policies. The Observatory will pay particular attention to the role of gender inequalities and discrimination

  • A WISE Centre project studies how people’s wider economic, social, environmental and political experiences shape their mental health and can be better considered in policy design. This also includes a look at how gender inequalities in well-being (e.g. in work-life balance) in turn affect gender differences in mental health.

Violence against Women



Trade, agriculture and food

  • OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate (TAD) conducted Trade and Gender Review of New Zealand (2022), the first country report following TAD’s Framework of Analysis. The report examines the impacts of trade on women, the barriers they face to trade, and policy recommendations for New Zealand to support women in trade

  • Gender mainstreaming in Aid for Trade was the theme of a joint chapter with WTO in the WTO Aid for Trade Global Review (2022) examining the extent to which gender objectives were integrated in Aid for Trade programmes and providing a typology of measures that target women in trade

  • Further work is planned in 2023-24 on country reviews, gender-related provisions in trade agreements, women workers in supply chains and a review of data necessary to close information gaps on women in trade

  • A workstream on women entrepreneurs and the challenges they face when trading will be reflected in the OECD horizontal report on gender equality Joining Forces for "Gender Equality: What is Holding us Back?" and in the "SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2023", both upcoming in the first half of 2023
  • Gender and Food Systems: Overcoming evidence gaps (2022) explores gender aspects and policies that address gender inequalities in food systems using a framework developed in OECD work on trade and gender that considers women’s roles as entrepreneurs, workers and consumers

  • Strengthening and fostering greater opportunities for women in agriculture and food systems is a key commitment in the Declaration on Transformative Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems adopted in November 2022 by OECD Meeting of Agriculture Ministers

  • The OECD webinar Better Policies for Women in Food systems will take place on 18th April 2023, 16.00 CEST. Colombia’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and TAD’s Director will open the webinar. OECD policy makers will then present policy approaches and experiences in advancing gender equality in food systems.