Atlas of Gender and Development

How Social Norms Affect Gender Equality in non-OECD Countries

image of Atlas of Gender and Development

Illustrated with graphics and maps, the Atlas of Gender and Development gives readers a unique insight into the impact of social institutions − traditions, social norms and cultural practices − on gender equality in 124 non-OECD countries.

Gender inequality holds back not just women but the economic and social development of entire societies. Overcoming discrimination is important in the fight against poverty in developing countries and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Tackling these inequalities is not easy: in many countries, discrimination against women is deeply rooted in social institutions such as the family and the law. These long-lasting codes of conduct, norms, traditions, and informal and formal laws determine gender  outcomes in education, health, political representation and labour markets.



OECD Development Centre

The Constitution of Malawi upholds the principle of equal rights for men. After the Constitution was adopted in 1994, the government established a Law Commission to assess whether existing legislation was compatible with the aims of the Constitution. Malawi has been profoundly modernised since it embraced democracy in 1994, yet it remains a very traditional society. There is a wide discrepancy between the declarations in the Constitution and the actual relationship between men and women, and customary law acts as a norm in the socialisation process. The country’s media contributes to the wide-ranging debate on these questions.


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