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

Inequality is widespread in Yemen, largely due to patriarchal traditions and religious beliefs. The population is predominantly Muslim and follows Islamic Sharia law. Yemen’s overall poverty also contributes to the difficult situation of women which include limited access to health care, economic opportunities and education. In fact, Yemen has one of the world’s largest gaps between net primary school attendance rates for girls and boys. Less than 30% of Yemeni women are economically active; the majority of women who do work are employed in the agricultural sector.


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