Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Gender parity and the gender gap have become frequently studied topics by researchers, governmental institutions, and non-profit organizations as a tool for fostering economic development in communities throughout the world. The World Economic Forum's decade long research on the topic evaluates the gender gap according to four categories, including economic participation, health, political involvement, and educational attainment. This guide will provide evidence from research papers that address how reducing the gender gap along these four categories benefits communities. The tabs organize research papers according to these categories.
This guide is created by Krisli Vasili, Graduate Assistant for Purdue Libraries.
Recent News: Gender Parity
Overview: Gender Equality Reports
OECD’s Gender Equality Data
The OECD Gender Data Portal include indicators of gender inequality in education, employment, entrepreneurship, health and development. The portal provides interactive data and charts with information on employment statistics among females and males, financing available for women owned business, and access to health care and education for women showing inequalities between genders among these spectrums. The data covers OECD member countries, as well as partner economies including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.
Gender Equality in Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship
This paper written by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) focuses on the barriers for women among the 3 Es: Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship. Barriers include economic, political, social, and cultural indicators, such as access to childcare, more unpaid work being done by women, and the issue that women are less likely to request money to finance their business. The paper shows examples of how improving education, employment, and entrepreneurship for women have been shown to benefit society and economy, especially in emerging markets.
World Bank Group Gender Strategy: Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction, and Inclusive Growth
This paper studies the World Bank Group’s work on gender equality as a way to poverty reduction. Consultations from with more than 1,000 stakeholders in 22 countries were gathered to discuss the work on gender equality as an agent of poverty reduction. The paper indicates progress made in closing gaps in health and education for women, but indicates work needed to be done in improving economic opportunity and giving women a voice to make decisions about their lives. The paper also cites gender-based violence and child marriage as key hurdles to economic development. The World Bank’s report focuses on three domains of gender equality: human endowments including health and education, economic opportunity, and voice and agency, as expressed in societal gender roles and political processes. The three areas are interconnected as health affects economic participation, therefore, the World Bank addresses them all. The paper focuses on how results in gender equality can be produced in different countries and being strategic in customizing what works to close the gender gap in different countries.
The Global Gender Gap Index 2016: The Case for Gender Parity
This study focuses on how benefiting women can lead to the economic development of a nation. In particular, more women in the workforce leads to a more productivity and increases a company’s competitiveness. Each year, the World Economic Forum does a study of the Gender Gap for 144 nations that measures the size of gender inequality based on health, economic participation, education, and political empowerment. Each of these categories are assessed by studying key indicators. The study shows that a decrease in the gender gap is correlated to an increase in the GDP of a nation. For example, in the Asia Pacific region, about $16 to $30 billion is lost each year as a result of gender gaps in education. Similarly, increasing education, economic participation, health, and political empowerment is evidenced to result in economic development for nations.
Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development
Development projects through government agencies and nonprofit organizations seek to grow communities and solve social issues. However, this paper focuses on the idea that any development project that is not planned and implemented through a gender lens will fail in the end. The paper cites several examples of organizations that build projects through a gender intentional perspective and other projects that have failed due to a lack of emphasis on gender, including the Grameen Foundation's MOTECH project. Furthermore, the paper argues that empowering women is an agent for change in developing communities.
Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016
The United Nations Women’s report evaluates progress made to helping women gain fundamental rights and economic empowerment as well as the progress yet to be achieved. Using evidence and experiences from around the world, the report proposes an agenda for policymakers and advocates. Though significant achievements have been made in enrolling more girls to school, getting more women to work, and addressing violence against women, the report highlights continued inequality. Three quarters of working age men are in the labor force compared to half of working age women and women on average earn 24% less than men globally. In addition, around the world women work more than men, contributing about 2.5 times more in unpaid work. The paper recommends economic and social policies that can lead to the creation of stronger economies including more sustainable and gender-sensitive societies if they are designed to put women’s rights at the forefront.
Gender Equality and Development: World Development Report 2012
Gender equality for development results in productivity gains, improved outcomes for the next generation and representative decision-making. Eliminating barriers that prevent women from entering certain sectors could increase productivity by 25% in some countries and gender gaps have reduced in some respects including educational enrollment, life expectancy and labor force participation. However, this report highlights current gender gaps including excess deaths of girls and women, limited access to schooling, differences in voice and agency in society, and unequal economic opportunities. Using data collected by the World Bank, this report provides an in-depth analysis on these gender gaps, how to evaluate progress, and priorities for policy action to reduce gender disparities.
Measuring Gender (In)Equality: Introducing the Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base (GID)
The Gender, Institutions, and Development Database (GID) of the OECD Development Center provides information on the various dimensions of gender inequality in different countries to analyze women’s economic status. The GID, unlike other sources, includes institutional variables related to norms, laws, codes of conduct, customs, and family traditions in the database, which are ignored in quantitative comparative studies. The paper provides examples of how the resource is used by illustrating the factors that determine women’s participation in the labor force and shows that the role of women in the economy relies on differences in social institutions.
The Millennium Development Goals Report (2015)
This report highlights the progress of the Millennium Develop Goals brought by the United Nations, based on a master set of data led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN. Developed in 2010, the eight goals provide a framework to fight poverty and its dimensions. It demonstrates that focused global action networks can lead to great results for eliminating poverty and helping many around the world. However, the report points out the work that is yet to be done, especially with gender equality, poverty, economic opportunity, conflict zones, and climate change. The report calls for a greater focus on data collection, accuracy and analysis, including real-time data. In addition, some communities continue to be ignored and see little progress, therefore the report calls for more attention to these populations.