At the February, 2014 Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, Ministers committed to developing appropriate policies that would ‘lift the G20 collective GDP by more than 2 per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming 5 years’. Increasing female employment and labour force participation has been deemed to be a viable solution to achieving this objective. To optimize the labour productivity potential of increased female employment, women should be fully integrated in the labour force. They should not be subjected to discriminatory gender wage gaps and should not be involuntarily confined to part-time employment and to the most low-paid, low-productivity and vulnerable jobs. National growth strategies must encompass measures to promote greater gender equality in access to quality education and marketable skills, access to assets and finance, and productive and rewarding jobs.
Despite the expressed commitment to promote a gender-balanced economy, narrowing gender gaps requires a comprehensive approach that a) accounts for the different nature of labour market challenges across the G20 countries, and b) includes a range of measures aimed at fostering gender equality and enhancing the employment of women. Measures to address gender gaps should be grounded in a clear legislative framework, supported by an enabling environment for gender equality in labour force participation, and should also include neutral tax/benefit systems, and public policies to support female entrepreneurship. International instruments such as the OECD Gender Recommendation and ILO international labour conventions and recommendations also lend support to more inclusive gender principles.
Good practices in addressing gender gaps in G20 countries are illustrated in Annex 4.