Highlights from the 2024 OECD Forum on Gender Equality

28 Jun 2024

The 2024 OECD Forum on Gender Equality, held on 10-11 June 2024 in Paris, brought together over 450 High-Level government officials and participants from OECD members and partner countries, civil society, the private sector, and international organisations, to address the urgent need for advancing gender equality amid significant global transitions in green energy, digitalisation, and sustainable growth.

Women, disproportionately affected by climate change and environmental degradation, often face exclusion from decision-making bodies and barriers such as social norms and stereotypes in sectors like energy and digital technology. The forum stressed that neglecting gender considerations in these ongoing transformations could worsen existing risks for women, including gender-based violence and unequal care burdens. Additionally, the forum explored innovative strategies and policies, including those within development cooperation, to empower women in the digital age and ensure their equal participation in sustainability efforts. The discussions also touched upon the compounded effects of global crises such as inflation and the aftermath of COVID-19, which continue to threaten and deepen gender inequalities.

Key takeaways from the Gender Forum include: 

  • Climate change and environmental factors have a disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in developing countries, due to structural inequalities in access to and control over land and natural resources. 
  • The energy transition is not immune to gender imbalances, yet there is a silver lining – the expected emergence of 139 million jobs in the energy sector worldwide can pave the way for greater gender equality in this field. 
  • Women and girls continue to face numerous barriers, including those related to gender stereotypes and social norms, that prevent their full and equal participation in digital transformation. 
  • The challenges most often faced by women and girls in the digital realm are further exacerbated by the threats of technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TF-GBV) and negative behaviours online, such as cyberbullying and the spread of stereotypes and content promoting restrictive masculinities on social media. 
  • Many of the gender imbalances in the context of global transitions are fuelled by structural inequalities and discriminatory social norms that persist across political, social, and economic spheres. 
  • Significant gender gaps exist in entrepreneurship, including the number of start-ups, their economic impact, and the ability of women entrepreneurs to access resources. 
  • Governments have both the responsibility and unique opportunity to use a wide range of tools to promote inclusive global transitions across domestic, foreign, and development activities.

Over these two days, the discussions were filled with ideas and insights. Read more in the co-chairs summary, agenda and key issues paper!