Constructing a Gender Discourse inside the OECD: The Working Party on the Role of Women in the Economy

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Rianne MAHON , Political Science, Balsillie School International Affairs, Canada
The UN International Decade for Women and the four UN Conferences on women helped to put gender equality on the global agenda.  Although feminists are rightly critical of the slow pace of change, gender equality retains an important place on official global (and regional) policy agendas. This paper examines the work of the OECD Working Party on the Role of Women in the Economy (ROWITE). Formed in 1974 in advance of the first UN Conference on Women, ROWITE constituted an important site for the consolidation of a feminist agenda for the Global North and, through its support for the Women in Development group within the OECD’s Development Advisory Committee (DAC) supported the promotion of gender equality through its members’ aid programs. Although ROWITE was disbanded in 1998, its concerns were, in partly picked up by the Social Affairs Division and thus continues to have a resonance in contemporary debates.