The ILO approach is focused on breaking the cycle of gender inequalities that trap women in informal, low-paid jobs without any social protection, both during their working lives and in old age. This requires removing barriers to both accessing the labour market and social protection schemes. Depending on their design, social protection systems can increase, perpetuate or reduce gender inequalities. It is therefore important to ensure that gender-responsiveness is mainstreamed into all social protection technical advisory services.
Flagship Thematic Area: Gender
Leveraging social protection to promote gender equality
- Women still experience significantly lower social protection coverage than men, a discrepancy that largely reflects and reproduces their lower labour force participation rates, higher levels of part-time and temporary work and of informal employment, gender pay gaps and a disproportionately high share of unpaid care work, which national social protection strategies often fail to recognize.
- These outcomes are associated with persistent patterns of inequality, discrimination and structural disadvantage for women. Furthermore, women with children are at an even greater disadvantage and face a triple motherhood penalty: compared with both men and women without children they are less likely to be employed, they earn lower wages (whereas fathers are likely to earn higher wages than men without children) and they are less likely to work in managerial or leadership positions.
- In the COVID-19 crisis, women have been affected by employment loss more than men and more women than men are leaving the workforce, perhaps as a result of intensified unpaid workloads. Some of the gains made in gender equality over recent decades are therefore being reversed.
Standards and Guiding Principles
Approach and Technical Support
Latest ILO Projects and Programmes
- ACTION/PORTUGAL (PHASE 2): STRENGTHENING OF THE SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS OF THE PALOP AND TIMOR-LESTE - ITCILO COMPONENT
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Indicators of results and impact
- A maternity protection policy paper was adopted in March 2017 by a tripartite committee
- On 2 February 2017, the Parliament of Mongolia adopted an amendment to the Law on Pensions and Benefits equalizes the replacement rate of the maternity benefits of the compulsory and voluntary insured.
- A national diagnostic study and a strategy for the implementation of a national Social Protection Floor (SPF) have been endorsed by the Ministry of Social Development along with the tripartite constituents in December 2017.
- In May 2017, the members of the multi-stakeholder working group of the Assessment Based National Dialogue on social protection floors (ABND-SPFs) adopted a Resolution on an assessment matrix for the ABND-SPFs in the Republic of Tajikistan.
- Social security and maternity protection experts from the Government, trade unions and employers organizations were trained in the period October 2015 to May 2016 on maternity protection.
- The Integrated Framework for Basic Social Protection Programmes (IFBSPP) was in December 2016, and launched by government in February 2017.
News and Events
- Democratic Republic of Congo strengthens its technical capacities to achieve universal health coverage
- West African Economic and Monetary Union progress in defining the role of social mutuals in national social health protection systems
Tripartite discussion for the establishment of maternity benefit scheme
26.06.2023 - 23.06.2023
Social Protection Policy Specialist