Gender Equality in the Workplace
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Gender Equality in the Workplace

The ILO welcomed the adoption of the 1995 Platform for Action of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women and is dedicated to promoting gender equality in the world of work. Globally, despite the increasing rate of employment, women remain disadvantaged and employed in less remunerated, more precarious, more informal, and atypical employment. A complex series of economic, demographic, and behavioral factors contribute to persistent and increasing gender-based gaps in the labor market. There are four key ILO Conventions that promote gender equality: Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. 111), Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention (No. 156), and Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183). The ILO’s goal is to promote equal opportunities for women and men to obtain Decent Work, which is fairly paid productive work carried out in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

The ILO has incorporated gender equality and mainstreaming into its own policy and programs and operationalizes a range of initiatives within the objectives defined in ILO’s Action Plan for Gender Equality, 2010-15,

The ILO Office in Washington works in close collaboration with its U.S. constituents to advance compliance of core labor standards and promote greater gender equality in the U.S. workforce.


  1. © U.S. Department of Labor 2014 2014


    Strength in Diversity: Guidance on Gender Identity Discrimination
    August 25, 2014

    The US Labor Department and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs OFCCP announced measures to update enforcement protocols and provide guidance to clarify that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex. The US Government will provide the full protection of federal non-discrimination laws that are enforced to transgender individuals. This follows President Obama's signing of Executive Order 13672 adding sexual orientation and gender identity as independent categories protected by Executive Order 11246, which OFCCP enforces. This holds a welcomed step to embrace diversity and inclusion at the workplace. The guidance can be found here

  2. U.S. Legislation

    President Obama signed a bill that both strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

    On February 28, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the previously Senate-approved and updated Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which now extends protection to gay, lesbian, and transgender people as well as immigrants and Native Americans.

  3. Global Employment Trends 2013: Recovering from a second jobs dip
    22 January 2013

    Five years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, this study offers the latest global and regional information and projections on several indicators of the labor market, including employment, unemployment, working poverty, and vulnerable employment.

  4. © Official White House Photo by Pete Souza 2014

    Gender equality worldwide

    President Obama Signs New Directive to Strengthen and Advance Gender Equality Worldwide

    In January 2013, President Obama signed a provision to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Government to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote gender equality and advance the status of women and girls worldwide.

What's new?

  1. © S. Jensen / GAVI Alliance / AFP 2014 2014

    New ILO Study

    Maternity Protection: Good for Workers, good for Small Businesses
    October 22, 2014

    Maternity protection and work-family  measures can generate positive outcomes for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), syas ILO Specialist Laura Addati. A new report reviews the key international literature on the outcomes of maternity protection in SMEs. It also addresses the questions of how, to what extent and under what conditions maternity protection can generate positive outcomes for enterprises as well as broader society, considering implications for policy and practice.

Related links

  1. ILO's Bureau of  Gender Equality
  2. Email ILO's Gender Help Desk
  3. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau
  4. UN's Women Watch
  5. International Training Centre Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination
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