The pursuit of gender equality: an uphill battle

Crawford School of Public Policy | Social Policy Institute | Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
Image sourced from Flickr by Switthoft

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 16 November 2017


Weston Theatre, Level 1, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Dr Willem Adema, Senior Economist, Social Policy Division, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.


Diane Paul
02 61259318

Additional links

Gender inequalities persist in all areas of social and economic life and across countries. Young women in OECD countries generally have higher levels of educational attainment than young men, but women are less likely than men to engage in paid work. Gaps widen with age, as motherhood typically has marked negative effects on gender pay gaps and career advancement. Women are also less likely to be entrepreneurs, and are under-represented in private and public leadership positions.

The 2013 and 2015 OECD Gender Recommendations provide guidance on how to advance gender equality in education, employment, entrepreneurship and public life, and the OECD’s recent The Pursuit Of Gender Equality : An Uphill Battle discusses recent developments in these areas in 25 short chapters which each include key findings and policy recommendations. Topics include violence against women, gender budgeting, the unequal sharing of unpaid work, labour market outcomes, and migration, and it also discusses recent policy initiatives, such as pay transparency to reduce gender wage gaps and policy reform aimed at fathers taking parental leave. Overall, progress with gender quality has been slow across the OECD and this presentation will place the Australian experience in a comparison with selected OECD countries.

This public lecture is sponsored by the Social Policy Institute and the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute of Crawford School of Public Policy, the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods and the Australian Social Policy Association. We are grateful for the support of Jobs Australia.

The Speaker Willem Adema is a Senior Economist in the OECD Social Policy Division. Willem leads a team of analysts of Family and Children policies; is project manager of the OECD Gender Initiative, and is responsible for the Affordable Housing Database that was launched early 2017. His team recently prepared the OECD reports, The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, Report on the Implementation of the OECD Gender Recommendations, Dare to Share: Germany’s Experience Promoting Equal Partnership in Families, Building an Inclusive Mexico- Policies and Good Governance for Gender Equality, A Decade of Social Protection Development in Selected Asian Countries, Policies to promote access to good-quality affordable housing in OECD countries, and Paid Parental Leave: Lessons from OECD Countries and Selected U.S. States and continues to update the on-line OECD Family database, and the OECD Gender Data Portal. Willem is also responsible for the OECD Social Expenditure database. Willem has written extensively on a wide range of social and family policy issues and was editor of the first issue of Society at a Glance OECD Social Indicators in 2001. He was project manager and editor of the OECD Babies and Bosses Reviews on the reconciliation of Work and Family Life and until early 2008 he was Head, Asian Social and Health Outreach. Willem was responsible for the OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Reviews of Chile (2009), Israel (2010 and 2013) and Russia (2011), as well as, Doing Better for Families (2011) and Closing the Gender Gap - Act Now (2012). Willem graduated from the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, and holds a doctorate from St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.

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