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UN Women Policy Briefs

The UN Women policy brief series synthesizes research findings, analysis and policy recommendations on key policy areas around gender equality and women’s rights in an accessible format. The series aims to bridge the research and policy divide by identifying issues that require urgent policy attention and propose a set of suitable measures to address them. The series is a joint effort of UN Women’s Policy Division, coordinated by the Research and Data Section. To ensure the quality and relevance of the content, each brief undergoes a rigorous internal and external peer review process. These concise and relevant policy-oriented documents are useful resources for gender equality advocates, civil society and other policy actors working to achieve gender equality and women’s rights.

English Spanish, French

Why Macroeconomic Policy Matters for Gender Equality

This brief synthesizes research findings, analysis and policy recommendations on creating an alternative gender-responsive macroeconomic agenda. Macroeconomic policy, including fiscal and monetary policy, is often thought of as gender-neutral. But economic policy choices affect women and men differently because of their different positions in the economy, both market (paid) and non-market (unpaid). For instance, budget cuts that reduce social spending may increase the demands on women’s unpaid household labour, while trade liberalization may negatively affect women’s employment in contexts where they are overrepresented in import-competing sectors, such as agricultural food crops. Yet, macroeconomic policies to date have paid scant attention to these issues and have therefore not been conducive to the achievement of gender equality. Focusing on goals, measurement and policy instruments, this brief lays out the key problems with current macroeconomic policies and provides building blocks for an alternative macroeconomic agenda that is rights-based and gender-responsive.

English Spanish, French

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