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Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2014

image of Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2014

This is the third edition of Society at a Glance Asia/Pacific, a regularly updated OECD overview of social indicators, which addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends. This report starts with an introductory chapter providing a guide to help readers understanding the OECD Social Indicator framework. Chapters 2 and three are special thematic chapters to address two increasingly topical issues in the social debate: Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship and Social Protection Expenditure.

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Gender equality in the three Es in the Asia/Pacific region

The case for gender equality is founded in both human rights and economic arguments. As such, closing gender gaps must be a central part of any strategy to create more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies. In order to identify barriers to greater gender equality and build on its expertise in these areas, the OECD launched its Gender Initiative to help governments promote gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship (the three Es – see ). Greater education participation, from an early age onwards, provides better economic opportunities for women by raising the overall level of human capital and labour productivity. Mobilising hitherto underutilised labour supply and ensuring higher female employment will widen the base of taxpayers and contributors to social protection systems which will come under increasing pressure due to population ageing. More gender diversity will help promote innovation and competitiveness in business. Greater economic empowerment of women and greater gender equality in leadership are key components of the OECD’s wider gender initiative to develop policies for stronger, better and fairer growth (OECD, 2011a and 2012a).

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