OECD Development Centre Policy Briefs

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The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. OECD Development Centre Policy Briefs summarise conclusions reached for policy makers.

English Also available in: French

Changing Social Institutions to Improve the Status of Women in Developing Countries

  • Deeply rooted social institutions – societal norms, codes of conduct, laws and tradition – cause gender discrimination.
  • Religion per se does not systematically define such discrimination. All dominant religions show flexibility in interpreting the role of women in society.
  • The Millennium Development Goals demand change in gender-discriminating social institutions, which should be added to the seven strategic priorities identified by the UN Task Force on Education and Gender Equality.
  • Donors must redesign their strategies to focus not only on improving women’s capacities and capabilities, but also and concurrently on lowering men’s resistance against reforms that improve gender equality.

English Also available in: French

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