OECD Development Policy Papers

The OECD Strategy on Development aims to strengthen the Organisation’s contributions to inclusive and sustainable growth in a wide array of countries. It draws on OECD’s evidence-based approaches, policy dialogue and knowledge sharing to improve policy making and economic reform. This strategy identifies four interlinked thematic areas: innovative and sustainable sources of growth; mobilisation of resources for development; governance for sustainable development; and measuring progress for development. Designed for a wide readership, the OECD Development Policy Papers are intended to stimulate discussion and analysis on these topics.

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Measuring women’s economic empowerment

Time use data and gender inequality

Empowerment, co-ordinated jointly by the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, the Development Centre and Statistics Directorate. The initiative aims to identify policy and programme solutions to promote women’s economic empowerment by recognising, reducing and redistributing women’s unpaid care work. This paper presents new analysis of time use data and unpaid care work from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and South Africa as well as comparisons with OECD countries. It provides recommendations for policy makers, donors and development practitioners to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, drawing on learning from the Social Institutions and Gender Index and in-country research by the OECD Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Specifically, the recommendations focus on how to recognise unpaid care work by measuring and valuing it, reduce time spent on drudgery by the provision of quality infrastructure and redistribute unpaid care tasks more equally between men and women by transforming gender stereotypes.


Keywords: gender equality, gender gaps, Unpaid care work, women’s economic empowerment, time use
JEL: J18: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics: Public Policy; J22: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Time Allocation and Labor Supply; J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; O18: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
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