Promoting decent employment
Women account for half the world's working age population. However, only 64 per cent of all women participate in the labour market and only 37 per cent contribute to gross domestic product (GDP). x
Social restrictions and their effects:
Women earn on average 20 per cent less than men and work more often in the informal sector.
- Many women and girls face discriminatory social norms, gender stereotypes and harmful practices such as child marriage. This makes it difficult for them to access education and vocational training.
- Around 70 per cent of young people worldwide without gainful employment or vocational training are women. x
- The main reason why women are unable to participate in the labour market is their disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work, 75 per cent of which is performed by women. x
- Women are also limited in their choices of career by social expectations and discrimination. In 90 countries there is at least one restrictive regulation that limits women in their choice of profession.x
Protection, development, participation
Employed women earn on average 20% less than men and work more often in the informal sector. Regulations on health and safety at work are generally absent in the informal sector x and working conditions are often precarious. Furthermore, insurance cover is usually unavailable in the event of unemployment, old age or illness. In any employment relationship – formal or informal – women also frequently experience violence and harassment.
The right for women to personally develop on the labour market and have the same opportunities as men to participate must be guaranteed. Only then can they use and develop their individual skills and abilities, earn a living and rely on social security. Equal opportunities for participation in the labour market also benefits employers. Companies that fill a high proportion of their management positions with women are demonstrably more profitable and innovative.
Fact: Companies that fill a high proportion of their management positions with women are demonstrably more profitable and innovative.x
- Source: Mc Kinsey (2015) The power of party: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth (opens in a new window)
- Source: World Economic Forum (2020) Global Gender Gap Report 2020 (opens in a new window)
- Source: ILO (2019) A Quantum Leap for Gender Equality (opens in a new window)
- Source: GPFI (2020) Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion (opens in a new window)