A closer look at gender gaps in education and beyond

A closer look at gender gaps in education and beyond

By Stefan Kapferer, OECD Deputy Secretary-General

©OECD Observer/David Rooney 2000

“In a world in search of growth, women will help find it, if they face a level playing field instead of an insidious conspiracy.”

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, didn’t mince words last week when she called for dismantling the legal barriers that prevent many women around the world from participating in their economies. She framed her argument in economic terms, saying that a previous study found that having as many women as men in the labour force could boost economic growth by 5% in the United States, 9% in Japan and 34% in Egypt.
A new PISA report, The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence (pdf), shows that the barriers against women’s full participation in the work force are not necessarily written into law. They can be as seemingly innocuous as parents’ expectations for their daughter’s future or students’ beliefs in their own abilities.
For example, the report, released today, finds that…
Originally published on oecdinsights.org on 5 March 2015. 
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Useful links:
PISA in Focus N°49: What lies behind gender inequality in education?
Why boys and girls still don’t have an equal chance at school on the educationtoday blog
Try the PISA questions
Read also:
The weaker sex on The Economist
Wanted: Women scientists
Girls read more than boys

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