UNCTAD and UN Women announces joint programme to promote gender-inclusive macroeconomics

Date: Friday, February 24, 2017

The UN’s lead agencies in development policy advice and gender equality are joining forces through a USD 790,000 programme that will place gender perspectives in the heart of effective macroeconomic policy. 

Through this programme, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and UN Women will work together to incorporate gender perspectives into models of economic growth and development, particularly the effects of the unpaid “care economy”. 

"While macroeconomics is often perceived as 'gender-neutral', gender matters for macroeconomic structures and outcomes," said UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Joakim Reiter. "Different types of economic shocks or patterns of growth affect women and men differently." 

For example, labour-intensive export-oriented economies raise the relative demand for female labour, and austerity measures disproportionately impact mothers and children. 

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec said: "Macroeconomic policies are crucial enablers of gender equality as they shape the overall environment for advancing women’s economic empowerment. Conversely, the benefits of gender-responsive economic policies, such as fairer societies and greater economic dynamism, accrue to everyone." 

With a focus on the "care economy", the collaboration between UNCTAD and UN Women will produce: 

  • Measures of gender-inclusiveness of growth, capturing the diversity of developing country experiences, while providing internationally comparable measures. 
  • Research and analysis to clarify the link between macroeconomic policies and gender-inclusive growth and inform policies. 
  • A joint publication on gender and macroeconomics to raise awareness and understanding of the gendered impacts of different macroeconomic policies. 
  • A new training programme on for officials from developing countries, particularly from the finance and planning ministries, to make macroeconomic policies more economically effective and gender-inclusive.

The one-year programme will culminate with a high-level panel event to present the joint publication and its policy findings to policy-makers, academia and civil society.