A blog post

Economic change needed for gender equality – new reports

Posted on the 17 November, 2014 at 6:02 pm Written by in Books, Research

Evidence is building up in support of a critical materialist view of gender inequality. Already in 2008, a Norwegian parliamentary report concluded that the wage gap between the genders had scarcely changed, over the last three decades – despite a lot of other change, regarding gender (NOU 2008:6 Kjønn og lønn).

Kjonn og lonn NOU 2008 small

(Norwegian 2008 report cover  – illustrating the gender gap in wages)

In 2010 a Nordic region comparison of gender equality in politics and the economy found much greater change in politics. The more private the economy, the lower the degree of gender equality (Niskanen etc 2010).

Now, international reports confirm the picture.

The new Global Gender Gap Index report 2014 shows changes over the nine years since the index was first made in 2006. While politics shows a rapid pace of change (although starting from a lower level of gender equality), the economy shows almost a standstill. Women’s share of earnings, for example, has not increased (WEF 2014).

A new OECD report concludes that “despite political statements about the importance of women’s economic empowerment, donor investments in women’s economic empowerment have remained flat and unchanged since 2007. Out of a total of USD 5.5 billion on average per year to women’s economic empowerment in 2011 and 2012, only USD 469 million targeted gender equality as a principal objective. This represented a low 2% of the bilateral aid going to women’s economic empowerment. There is a gap between what donors say they do and what they are actually doing” (OECD 2014:2).


NOU 2008:6 Kjønn og lønn. Fakta, analyser og virkemidler for likelønn [Gender and wages. Facts, analyses and methods for gender-equal wages] NOU 2008:6 [parliamentary report]. Departementenes servicesenter, Oslo

Niskanen, Kirsti; Nyberg, Anita eds: Køn och makt i Norden [Gender and power in the Nordic region]. Del 2: Sammanfattande diskussion och analys. Nordisk Ministerråd, København 2010.

WEF 2014: The global gender gap report 2014, cf. http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2014/report-highlights/

OECD 2014: Financing the unfinished business of gender equality and women’s rights: priorities for the post-2015 framework. OECD DAC Network on Gender Equality, OECD (internet publication, March 2014)