OECD: Is the Last Mile the Longest? Economic Gains from Gender Equality in Nordic Countries

Gender equality lies at the heart of the Nordic social policy, that is based on the tripartite cooperation between employers' organizations, trade unions, and the state, that provides universal health coverage, social protection, education and labour markets supports. The Nordic model has helped deliver large gains in gender equality in employment over the past half-century, - says the recent OECD Report.

In his speech dedicated to the presentation of the Report the OECD Sectretary- General said: "The Nordic policy approach is not only about supporting women. It aims to encourage all men and women to participate fully in paid work. Nordic countries provide a continuum of support to families with children, consisting of generous paid leave for new parents; subsidised and high-quality early childhood education and care; and out-of-school-hours care".

The family-friendly policies introduced by Nordic countries over the past 50 years and associated increases in female employment have boosted growth in GDP per capita by between 10% and 20%, according to a new OECD report. Findings suggest that past increases in women's headcount employment, in particular, have made large contributions to economic growth in the Nordics.

“Gender equality is both a fundamental human right and a key driver of inclusive growth,” said OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría, launching the report in Montreal at the OECD Social Policy Forum 2018. “Nordic countries have moved further along the path to gender equality than most other OECD countries, at the same time "last mile may well prove to be the longest" in terms of better sharing paid and unpaid work, addressing gender stereotypes such as career patterns, maternity leaves and so on. Closing the remaining gaps would drive further economic and social benefits but will require a renewed commitment.” 


The OECD regularly examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, entrepreneurship; monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non- OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data. See more on The OECD Gender equality initiative here.

By Katsiaryna Serada



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