Gender Equality

Women restricted to specific jobs which may be low-paying and/or precarious


Women must not be subject to discrimination based on their sex, including discrimination in employment. Globally, women are disproportionally subjected to forced labour and are often overrepresented in lower-paying jobs, particularly in some industries related to caregiving or domestic work. Women are more likely to be subject to exploitation and violence through forced domestic work and in the sex industry. Women are also more likely to be underpaid, overlooked for promotion and employed on a casual basis rather than on a permanent full-time basis. Women in paid jobs tend to work fewer hours than men in paid jobs, due to women’s other unpaid household and care responsibilities.


The economic empowerment of women is central to achieving women’s rights and gender equality. Businesses should review their recruitment, promotion and training processes to ensure that equal opportunities for employment and promotion are provided to women. Businesses can support women by ensuring their policies and procedures are free from any direct or indirect gender bias and discrimination.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Article 2
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, Articles 2(2) and 2(3)
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, Articles 2(1) and 2(3)
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979



SDG 5.1

Providing all employees with equal pay and employment opportunities aids in achieving SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

SDG 10


SDG 10.3

Businesses that commit to equal pay and opportunities in the workplace may contribute to SDG 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.