OECD Forum Virtual Event: "Building a gender-equal recovery"

Women healthcare workers gather outside the Fundación Jiménez Díaz hospital in Madrid, Spain, March 2020. Banner image: Shutterstock/Enrique Campo Bello

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As part of an OECD Forum series, our virtual event Building a gender-equal recovery took place on 28 April 2021. This event has finished and registration is now closed—but don't worry, you can still watch the replay!

Women have been at the forefront of the pandemic, as healthcare workers, teachers, caregivers, working parents juggling new responsibilities. As countries begin to gradually move to a post-pandemic world it is key that plans for the economic and social recovery from COVID-19 include more women both in terms of representation, but also in terms of taking a gender-perspective in all policy measures for the recovery.

Real change will require a co-ordinated, competent and powerful whole-of-government commitment, and clear and effective mechanisms in place within and across government institutions to be able to translate public policies, programmes, services and budgets into concrete benefits for both men and women.

Ensuring gender balance in public decision-making has been increasingly highlighted by OECD countries as a key governance issue for fairness, transparency and inclusive policy outcomes. It is thus high time to transition to government-wide approaches to gender equity and equality, moving beyond the traditional remit of gender equality policies, to introducing a gender perspective when tackling broader, interrelated issues such as the acceleration of digitalisation and its impact on the future of work, concerns around AI, bias, and skills gaps, climate change, rethinking healthcare, and other important policy challenges.

Browse the OECD Gender Data Portal and see the latest OECD data, recommendations and policy advice on Gender Equality

Several governments across the world – from Argentina to Canada – are already putting in place “feminist recovery plans”. Such plans aim to “make the economy work for everyone”, in a sustainable fashion, arguing for instance in favour of the collection of disaggregated data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple dimensions of social identities to assess whether recovery plans are decreasing or magnifying inequalities; calling for robust investment in the care economy to create high-quality, affordable and accessible care services as well as decent jobs; and urging for stronger investment and support to vulnerable small-business owners, particularly women.

In the United States, the new US Gender Council also takes a government-wide approach to gender policy which means that every government agency and every policy team is at the table, and that every issue is approached with gender equality in mind.

How can we ensure that the COVID-19 crisis provides the wake-up call needed to accelerate and secure lasting change?

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