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March on gender

Catch up with the OECD’s initiatives on gender, including for International Women’s Day 8 March, by visiting www.oecd.org/gender.

Women in the judiciary: What solutions to advance gender-responsive and gender-diverse justice systems?
Kate Brooks, OECD Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development

In recent decades, the number of women in the judiciary has significantly increased worldwide. In many countries around half of law students are women, and 2014 data shows that women in OECD countries make up more than 54% of professional judges. But women are still vastly underrepresented in top-ranking judicial positions including on High Court benches and other senior roles in the legal profession. What are the obstacles to women’s legal leadership? How can we overcome them?

In 2015 the UK’s only female Supreme Court judge, Baroness Hale, criticised all-male appointments. Hale has been a strong advocate of improving diversity, questioning whether an element of positive discrimination may eventually be needed to redress gender imbalance. Increasing gender balance on high court benches helps to preserve the legitimacy of the courts as representative of the societies that they serve and enables courts to understand the real-world implications of their rulings. Enhancing gender diversity in the justice system helps maintain public confidence, reduces barriers to women’s access to justice, such as stigma associated with reporting violence and abuse, and ensures a more balanced approach to enforcing the law. A higher presence of women jurists is vital to ensuring the implementation and safeguarding of equality rights. Courts that operate free of gender bias and other forms of discriminatory practices can be powerful drivers of social change.

Read full blog at http://oe.cd/1OJ

Female breadwinners sweep the crumbs, too
Valerie Frey and Lucy Hulett, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

It’s 11:00 on Saturday morning. Both you and your partner had exhausting weeks at work, and so far the day has been spent preparing and cleaning up breakfast, wrangling children out of pyjamas and into real clothes, and running to the store for yogurt and bananas. Your kids are finally playing quietly with Lego bricks in the living room. At last, a break!

Do you: (a) Relax on the couch with an iPad? (b) Go tidy up the bedrooms? (c) Gather laundry to toss a quick load in the washing machine? (d) Start meal prep for the week ahead?

If you answered b, c, or d, odds are good that you’re a woman. But don’t just take the word of two working parents. Survey data tell us so. Read full blog at http://oe.cd/1OK

Statistical insights: Large inequalities in longevity by gender and education in OECD countries
OECD Statistics Directorate

Measures of inequalities in longevity show that, on average, the gap in life expectancy between high and low-educated people is equal to 8 years for men and 5 years for women at the age of 25 years; and 3.5 years for men and 2.5 years for women at the age of 65. Cardio-vascular diseases, the primary cause of death for the over 65s, are the primary cause of mortality inequality between the high and low-education elderly.

Read full blog at http://oe.cd/1OL

Gender equality in West Africa: Actions speak louder than words
Julia Wanjiru, OECD Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) Secretariat

Respect of the fundamental rights of women and girls remains a serious, sometimes life-threatening, concern in many developing countries. Several decades of gender debates, special events and development goals dedicated to the empowerment of women, add up to only modest improvements on the ground.

Read full blog at http://oe.cd/1OM

©OECD Observer No 309 Q1 2017