Good Global Legal Practices to Promote Gender Equality in the Labor Market

Date: December 2013
Type: Reports
Series: Promoting Gender Equality in the Labor Market for More Inclusive Growth
ISBN: 978-92-9254-357-0 (print), 978-92-9254-358-7 (web)
Price: US$26.00



Increasing job opportunities and decent work for women are essential for advancing economic and social development in countries, because many women continue to experience gender inequalities at work. An analysis of strategies to counter gender discrimination and promote equality between men and women shows how a combination of good practices in law and in social and economic policy can improve equitable employment opportunities, remuneration, and treatment for women and men at work.

This report provides some examples of good global legal practices to reverse unequal labor market outcomes for women and realize their economic potential to the full.


Labor legislation can fulfill four crucial roles in relation to the promotion and provision of decent work for women:

  • establishing a legal system that facilitates productive individual and collective employment relationships;
  • providing a framework within which employers, workers, and their representatives can interact on work-related issues;
  • providing an important vehicle through which harmonious industrial relations based on workplace democracy can be achieved; and
  • providing a clear and constant reminder and guarantee of fundamental principles and rights at work (including gender equality) and establishing the processes through which these principles and rights can be implemented and enforced.

In all countries, there is a need to find a balance in labor between the functions of social protection and equity, and the considerations of economic efficiency. Irrespective of the particular legal tradition of a country, the challenge of labor law reform in recent years has been twofold: first, to afford better protection for the basic rights of workers, including their trade union rights; and second, to provide for a greater measure of flexibility for social partners to regulate the employment relationship in a manner that is more conducive to, and enhancing of, productivity and economic growth.

The most efficient way of ensuring that these conditions and needs are fully taken into account is if those concerned are closely involved in the formulation of the legislation through processes of social dialogue.


  • Introduction
  • Essential Gender Equality and Nondiscrimination Law
  • Promoting Opportunities for Women to Get Work
  • Promoting Equality of Treatment for Working Women
  • Work and Security in Employment and Occupation
  • Social Protection for Working Families
  • Protecting Collective Freedom and Social Dialogue