Women at work

Women at Work today

In 2014, G20 leaders committed to the “25 by 25” target, i.e. to reduce the gap in participation rates between men and women by 25 per cent by the year 2025. Estimates indicate that, under certain assumptions, if such a goal were to be realized across all countries, it has the potential to boost global employment by 189 million (5.3%). Economic benefits will also produce positive impacts in the women’s welfare and empowerment. This requirement comes with prerequisites. Above all, women must have the opportunity to realize their goals.

The unequal division of reproductive labour with men must be overcome. Women are more likely to work longer hours than men when both paid and unpaid work are taken into account. Due to time spent on household chores and on care provision, women work fewer hours for pay or profit or less paid part-time work is the only option available to them.

Legislation must prevent and eliminate discrimination based on gender. The principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value needs to be integrated into law and included in collective bargaining processes. However, laws alone -even with strict implementation and monitoring- are insufficient to prevent and eliminate discrimination, violence and harassment in the world of work. If we want to construct a different world of work for women, other measures such as capacity building and training, technical assistance to specialized equality bodies and public awareness campaigns are important complements in which we have to invest in an effort to change attitudes and social norms

ILO Women at Work Centenary Initiative

The ILO Centenary Initiative on Women at Work is one of seven being launched ahead of the ILO’s 100th anniversary in order to help “equip the Organization to take up successfully the challenges of its mandate in the future”.


The ILO is planning a major assessment of women in the world of work in the years leading up to its Centenary in 2019. The initiative questions why progress on delivering on decent work for women has been so slow. Issues that are regularly identified as obstacles are:


The findings of the Women at Work initiative are expected to provide a basis for future action by all who are striving to advance the goal of gender equality, as well as for developing a renewed ILO strategy for gender equality in its second century of existence.

ITCILO Support to the ILO Women at Work Initiative

The ITCILO Women at Work supporting initiative guides you on the ILO and ITCILO learning and information opportunities offered by the ITCILO to address the obstacles to gender equality in today’s the world of work. These activities are carried out in collaboration with the ILO Headquarter and field offices.

Our response

Training and capacity building for governments, workers, employers, and other actors to advance equality for women and men at work, tackling the areas that the ILO has identified as critical to a better future of work for women:

infographic_03.jpg.png Access to work Freedom from violence Access to work Equal pay



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International Training Centre of the ILO

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10127 Turin - Italy

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