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Data-Driven Gender Equality

If countries were to eliminate gender-based discrimination and guarantee equality by 2030, global GDP would increase by some $6 trillion. New OECD data could yield insights that help to make this vision a reality.

PARIS – At the current rate of progress, it will take more than 200 years to achieve gender equality and female empowerment at work. In many countries, girls are still forced to marry young, which limits their access to education and future employment opportunities. In Niger, for example, in 2016, 76% of girls aged 15-19 were married, which partly explains why 73% of lower-secondary-school-age girls are out of school. Child labor is also common, and almost a third of the world’s women believe that domestic violence is a justifiable punishment under certain circumstances, such as burning meals.

What does it say about human values when it is considered more acceptable to beat a woman than to ruin dinner?

Legal frameworks enshrine such values. Today, ten countries still allow marital rape, and nine permit rapists to avoid punishment by marrying their victims. And, for many more women, such values inform social arrangements that deny them opportunities. Around the world, the absence of paid maternity leave, childcare facilities, or family-friendly job policies prevents women’s participation in the formal economy. Even when women do manage to have a career, they still assume three-quarters of household responsibilities.

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