Creating new arenas of gender parity and decent work for sustainable development
Gender equality and decent work are a human right and most countries are committed to it, but striving to fulfil this fundamental aspiration in isolation from a country's main strategies has proved quite ineffective. Indeed, economic policies, including employment, labour and trade policy, are powerful instruments to translate gender equality and decent work aspirations into reality. For this to happen, they have to be coordinated and convergent. Employment and labour reforms should be based on a thorough understanding of their impacts not only on a country as a whole, but also on specific segments of the population, including women and men. If market opening is expected to have detrimental effects on women (or on other groups), it may need to be postponed or adjusted. In many cases, the new market environment needs to be accompanied by flanking policies to facilitate the adjustment and absorb shocks. Labour and employment policies developed keeping in mind the wellbeing of all segments of the population and implemented along with corrective measures may greatly contribute to reaffirm the role of international markets as a tool for inclusive and sustainable development.