The OECD review of Gender Equality in Peru is the second in a series focussing on Latin America and Caribbean countries, after a first review that focused on Chile. It puts gender gaps in labour and educational outcomes in Peru into a comparative context, and analyses the factors that contribute to unequal outcomes, including the uneven distribution of unpaid work. It discusses how existing policies and programmes in Peru can contribute to improving gender equality and, in particular, increasing men’s participation in unpaid work.

Closing gender gaps in paid and unpaid work responsibilities is not only a moral and social imperative but also a central part of any successful strategy for stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive growth. The COVID-19 crisis and the associated lock-down measures have placed this cause at the top of the policy agenda in countries by showing that without addressing the gender unequal sharing of unpaid work, women will continue to have difficulty catching up with men’s labour force participation, earnings and financial security.

The OECD has long championed gender equality. Building on an extensive body of work, the OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship. The OECD actively promotes policy measures embedded in the 2013 and 2015 OECD Recommendations on Gender Equality in Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Public Life. These include measures to ensure access to good quality education for boys and girls, policies to improve the gender balance in leadership in the public sector and providing fathers and mothers equally with financial incentives to use parental leave and flexible work options.

The flagship 2012 publication Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now! and the 2017 report The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle assessed policies to promote gender equality in different countries. These reviews have informed novel policy initiatives like NiñaSTEM PUEDEN, which the OECD and the Mexican Ministry of Education jointly launched. The OECD’s online Gender Data Portal has become a leading global source for statistical indicators on female education, employment, entrepreneurship, political participation, and social and economic outcomes. The OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures discrimination against women in social institutions across 180 countries.

The OECD was also instrumental in defining the target adopted by G20 Leaders at their 2014 Brisbane Summit to reduce the gender gap in labour force participation by 25% in 2025. The OECD continues to work closely with G20 and G7 Presidencies on monitoring progress with reducing gender gaps such as these.

Informed by these initiatives, Gender Equality in Peru puts forward a comprehensive policy strategy for greater gender equality in the country. The first part of the report reviews the evidence on gender gaps in economic and educational outcomes and on the related possible drivers, including gender-based attitudes and the distribution of unpaid work. The second part develops a comprehensive framework of policies to promote an equal distribution of paid and unpaid work between men and women and to increase women’s labour income.The final part examines the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and addresses how the policy priorities of the government have changed to take into account these effects.

The objectives of Gender Equality in Peru align to Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for a better and more sustainable future for all, which contemplates achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. In particular, Goal 5.4 states the importance to “Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.”

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