Working Paper No. 44 - Women's access to occupations with authority, influence and decision making-power

Empowering women and promoting gender equality is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and this paper analyzes to what extent women take part as legislators, senior government officials, and managers in private establishments (LSOM). It studies the levels of feminization and differentials for a large number and range of countries from around the world and how these relate to economic development and other indicators of social gender equity. Results indicate that there is a universal lack of equal opportunity for women to access high-status decision-making occupations, and thus gender discrimination in the labour market. Also, the feminization of LSOM occupations has not proven to be positively related to a country's development measured by GDP per capita, meaning economic development is not enough to equalize LSOM workers.