Remarks at “One Safe Place for Hope and Empowerment” International Conference

Delivered on November 15, 2018 at the International Conference: “One Safe Place for Hope and Empowerment” in Paris, France.

Thank you Marie-Aimée [Peyron, Mme le Bâtonnier de l’Ordre des Avocats de Paris]. It is an honor to join you here this morning to discuss such an important topic.

The OECD has been looking at gender issues across most public policy area for decades, and we’re seeing that true gender equality still doesn’t exist anywhere. Progress is slow and patchy.

What continues to shock me is violence against women, which is horrifyingly prevalent; OECD data shows that 31% of women worldwide have experienced violence at least once in their lifetime.[1] 15% of women experienced this in the past year alone.

This is happening in many OECD countries: for example, in some parts of my country Mexico, 80% of women in their 30s report having been victims of intimate partner violence.

This isn’t confined to the domestic sphere, where it might be harder to spot, public spaces are not always safe for women, either.

Data shows that most women who use public transport feel exposed to physical or verbal aggression[2]. In Latin America, 60% of women say they have been physically harassed while using public transport.

Where does this violence come from? It is rooted in power and control, in patriarchal and cultural norms and attitudes that do not respect women and impede their rights. These are worsened by negative stereotypes and unconscious biases that are deeply engrained in society, in both men and women.

And it’s this social acceptance that is disturbing.

The OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) indicates that 28% of women worldwide justify domestic violence under certain circumstances. In developing countries, such as Afghanistan, 80% of women believe domestic violence is justifiable.

We have to look at how these images of women are propagated, and ask ourselves whether the media plays a role.

In many media outlets, negative images of women are disseminated in films, soap operas, or advertising. Women are presented not as humans, but as products whose value depends on their image. Just look at some of the violent video games that children or young adults can access – where players can choose to enact extreme violence against women.

Countries should take a hard look at this: the UK, Norway and Denmark are taking measures to ban sexism in advertising, and gratuitous violence against women on screen is less and less accepted.

Violence can also be linked to weak judicial systems, as pursuing cases that happen behind close doors can be difficult. Not only in developing countries where institutions are weak, but even in advanced economies, where there is no culture to use a gender lens when dealing with legal cases.

Action and policy recommendations

So what would the OECD recommend? A genuine whole-of-society approach is needed. Actions could be grouped around prevention, protection and prostecution.

First, prevention: stronger legal frameworks and systems that criminalise violence against women are essential, but not all countries have them. Although every country has ratified conventions on this issue, only 74% of the 180 countries covered by OECD data criminalise domestic violence[3]. Just 61% make sexual harassment a criminal offense. The #MeToo movement showed the way in which legal instruments were used to provide impunity to perpetrators of aggression against women.

I was in Tunisia this week and was encouraged that Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon have recently repealed laws that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. But this is recent. There are still 10 countries in the world where this is permitted. We are in the 21st Century, how can these barbaric practices still exist?

Again, it’s the cultural biases, gender norms and stereotypes. To address this, women’s rights and respect must be mainstreamed through education.

Teaching children, parents and teachers that men and women are equals from the start will help.

Public education campaigns and public investment in female rights and opportunities can also help raise awareness of the issue, which has historically received less attention than other types of violence. Campaigns can also raise awareness of the negative effects of showing degrading images of women and gratuitous violence in media.

Schools can also help instil self-confidence in girls from early on, so that they can report abuse, and feel the self-worth to stand up to bullies and violence, both on and offline. More role models – both male and female – can help, and men should also be encouraged to be agents of change.

Laws need to catch up to the reality of the present: despite increasing awareness about new forms of violence, less than a dozen countries in the world have laws addressing cyber-harassment and online violence[4]. We need greater regulation and protections on social networks, especially for young adults and children, who might be more vulnerable.

Children also need to be taught to be digitally wise and resilient online.

In our PISA for Wellbeing report we confirmed that cyberbulling can have a greater  effect on girls, as it is usually always linked to their physical appearance.

More disaggregated data is also needed to be able to have a better picture of the scope and type of violence perpetrated against women and girls.

Second, protection: countries must take an integrated approach to support victims. Support for victims must be easily accessible. More than 40% of survivors never seek help and less than 20% of women who do appealed to the police, medical personnel or lawyers[5]. Data show that leaving an abusive relationship is an extremely dangerous time: most murders of abused women occur while a woman is leaving or shortly after.

Having integrated service centres in place, such as a Family Justice Centre, can give a survivor a place to go to when she takes the first step in a very difficult journey. These centres could also include language services for non-native speakers.

In Mexico, most states have set up publicly-funded Women’s Justice Centres, adapted to local conditions. These multi-function centres cut across service delivery, political and jurisdictional silos to offer the best support. Legislators are working to ensure that there is at least one Women’s Justice Centre in every state.

Our institutions should also be modernised to have a gender-lens, and there should be culturally-sensitive and specialised trauma training for all those working with victims.

I am also a believer in the power of women’s economic empowerment – if women are financially independent, they can better protect themselves and may find it easier to leave an abusive domestic situation. Ensuring women know their financial rights and can access their accounts is also important, and should also be a factor of integrated services.

Third, prosecution: our legal systems must adequately punish perpetrators, and must take violence against women as seriously as other violent crimes.

For example, in France, domestic violence legislation covers physical, sexual and psychological abuse and foresees penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000. Austria also has a policy of specially trained police officers who can help protect victims, assess and recommend additional safety.

Cases must be treated quickly. For example, specialised domestic violence courts, such as those in the UK, where victims are placed at the centre of the justice process can help. Victims are provided with comprehensive and immediate services, courthouses are secured to ensure protection of women’s privacy and safety, and cases are fast-tracked.

Perpetrators, once prosecuted, also need to be rehabilitated and re-educated. The UK has implemented a Violence against Women and Girls Strategy, which looks at new technology and rehabilitation methods to reduce reoffending cases, to break the abuse cycle.

Finally, we need international cooperation. The  majority of OECD countries have identified violence against women as their top gender priority[6], and last year G7 leaders agreed to a series of measures to eliminate violence against women and girls. The OECD has supported these efforts and we’re already working with France ahead of its G7 presidency to build on previous commitments[7].

All this can help, but policies only work if cultural norms and mindsets are also tackled. We need to ensure instituions are strong and that they take a gender lens to major challenges, to rise above engrained biases.

All levels of government and civil society must cooperate to ensure women’s rights are enshrined in law, that victims are supported and protected and that they are economically empowered in the first place to ensure independence.

Your work is incredibly important and inspiring. You make a real difference to victims of violence, and you contribute to building more peaceful societies and communities.

Do count on the OECD to continue providing the data, analysis, best practices and policy recommendations to inform your work. And let’s make violence a thing of the past.

Thank you.

[1] OECD, Gender Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB).

[2] ITF (2018), Women’s Safety and Security. A public transport priority, OECD Publishing, Paris


[4] 180 country notes will be available on December 7th.

[5] DHS (Wave 6, n.d.)

[6] OECD (2017), The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[7] The Charlevoix Commitment to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Abuse and Harassment in Digital Contexts


Opening Remarks at the Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum 2018

Remarks delivered in Tunis, Tunisia on November 13, 2018.


Excellences, Mesdames et Messieurs les ministres.

Je suis ravie d’être ici avec vous, pour un sujet qui me touche au cœur. Permettez-moi de remercier la Ministre Labidi, le Ministre Ladhari et le gouvernement tunisien de leur accueil chaleureux.

Permettez-moi aussi de continuer en anglais.

It has been a year since we launched the Forum in Cairo, and when the OECD released our report, Women’s Economic Empowerment in MENA Countries: The Impact of legal frameworks.

That report showed that many MENA women were being held back from joining the labour force, or from holding quality jobs, because of legal provisions that unfairly discriminated against them. These included family laws, labour laws and business regulations.

Since then, we have seen that a momentum for change is building.

I enjoyed listening to Minister Labidi’s remarks, about the progress Tunisia has made in improving women’s access to economic opportunity, through various initiatives. And other nations in the region are also making progress. I am sorry that Minister Nasr cannot be with us, but we should recognise that she is one of eight female Cabinet Ministers in Egypt – the most in Egypt’s history –highlighted what Egypt has been doing. Although there is more to do, it’s important to recognise things are moving.

For example, we have seen important legal reforms in many countries: Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon have repealed laws that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. This is an important step, but there are still 10 countries in the world where this is allowed.

Indeed, violence against women is horrifyingly prevalent in all countries; OECD data shows that 31% of women worldwide have experienced violence at least once in their lifetime.

Part of this is due to patriarchal and cultural norms and attitudes that do not respect women and impede their rights. But it’s also a case of social acceptance. The OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index indicates that 28% of women worldwide justify domestic violence under certain circumstances. In Algeria it is 52% and Morocco 32%.

This is why steps the region is taking are so important. Such as Egypt, which has launched a 2030 National Woman’s Strategy and Morocco launched ICRAM II[1], a new plan for gender equality.  The UAE has also adopted an equal pay law.

Women in the MENA region today are increasingly qualified to seize opportunities.

In some countries, they surpass MENA men in tertiary enrolment rates: over the past decade[2], women’s tertiary enrolment rates almost doubled from 24% to 42%, exceeding men’s enrolment rates – as well as the world average – of 39%[3].

In some cases, MENA women outstrip OECD countries in enrolment in STEM studies – often the key to unlocking lucrative careers.[4]

For example, in 2014, Saudi women made up 59% of total students enrolled in Computer Science, while British women made up only 16% of Computer Science students and American women only 14%. In Egypt, a huge 43% of STEM students are women.

However, these skills and capabilities do not translate into good opportunities at the workforce.

The female labour force participation rate in the region remains the lowest in the world at only 20.6%, with little progress in the past decade.[5] In Tunisia, it is higher at 35.5%, but low compared to the OECD average of 65%. When MENA women do work, they often occupy lower paying jobs.

They are also under-represented in high-level managerial positions in both private and public sectors, for example women hold only 15% of executive positions in Tunisia, compared to 43% in the US, although better than Korea at 11%. Women chair only 4% of boards in the MENA region[6].

The average share of MENA women holding seats in Parliament is almost half the OECD average at 16%, compared to 30%. However, there are some bright spots: Morocco has introduced a quota system to increase women’s representation to 38% in regional councils and to 20.5% in Parliament.

In Jordan, a gender legislative quota in parliament and municipal councils has substantially increased female representation, women now occupy 29% of seats across all councils.

Tunisia has achieved both horizontal and vertical parity on candidate lists for local elections, and in May 2018, women won 47% of seats in those elections.

But despite all of the impressive progress made, more is needed to allow women to succeed.

This applies to all countries: no country in the world has managed gender equality. The OECD’s report Measuring the Distance to the SDG Targets, finds that among the SDG targets, gender was where OECD countries have the furthest to go.[7]

So what can we do?


First, as our report last year emphasised, legal frameworks are needed to enshrine women’s status and rights into laws and constitutions and must be enforced through access to justice mechanisms; I know this will be one focus of today’s discussions.

Our report also recommended that governments review family laws and labour codes to align them with constitutional and international commitments, and to allow women to work in all sectors.

However, enshrining rights in law often isn’t enough. All around the world, we have to tackle the entrenched cultural views and attitudes about women, by both men and women. These attitudes are everywhere, whether in France or Morocco. We have to change the traditional mind-sets, the cultural barriers, the stereotypes that are preventing qualified and smart women from getting ahead. This would also help the issue of violence against women.

To change attitudes, we need a whole-of-society approach, sustained commitment and continuous use of policies over time.

This must start with the education system: teaching children with gender-neutral textbooks and tools, as well as teaching parents, teachers and employers to be mindful about negative stereotypes, can make a difference. Brazil, Belgium, France and Germany all have effective policies. Public campaigns and public investment in female rights and opportunities can also help raise awareness and promote acceptance.

Another powerful tool is the media. We need to consider what images of women are portrayed in soap operas, advertising and through social media platforms.

Countries such as the UK, Norway and Denmark are starting to take measures to ban sexism, or unhelpful stereotypes – such as showing women unable to park a car, or a man unable to change a child’s nappy – in advertising.

We need more female role models to show young women and girls – and men and boys – what success can look like.

We need to give girls the confidence to apply themselves and be ambitious.

The OECD is looking at various ways to encourage more female role models, and in Mexico, we launched an initiative with the Government called NinaSTEM Pueden, or “Girls can do STEM”, which focuses on identifying Mexican women that have been successful in the STEM fields, to come to schools and encourage young girls to take up STEM subjects, which is badly needed in Mexico.

Third, in addition to tackling stereotypes, there needs to be greater awareness of the burden of unpaid care, which mostly falls to women and can drastically affect their ability to participate in the labour force. OECD analysis shows that women in the OECD spend on average 1.5 hours per day on domestic work[8].

In my country, Mexico, it’s as much as 4.5 hours per day. In Tunisia, it is closer to 5.5 hours[9].

To redress the balance, as our report said last year, employers need to offer family friendly policies such as parental leave, flexible working hours or part-time work arrangements to allow women to work. There must also be increased transport security for women to and from the workplace. This will help both men and women juggle their formal work with their unpaid caring duties.

Female entrepreneurs – of which there are many across the region – must also be incentivised and legislation should establish businesses as gender neutral.

Fourth, gender mainstreaming will also be key to advancing gender equality, and is a key feature of the MENA Competitiveness Programme. I am pleased that this will also be discussed today.

In March, I launched a Toolkit on Mainstreaming Gender Equality, which helps governments, parliaments and judiciaries design gender-sensitive public policies and services. I know countries in the region are moving ahead with this, such as Morocco, which I discussed yesterday at President Macron of France’s Paris Peace Forum. It is also important to encourage young women and men to be more actively engaged in public life; OECD is supporting the Tunisian Ministry of Youth to do this.

Finally, we need better disaggregated data to be able to track progress, as well as spot the gaps. Without data, governments cannot effectively target their policies to where they are most needed.

The OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index, I mentioned earlier is a great tool to help with this, and it is also an official source of measurement for SDG 5.1.1 looking at the legal frameworks that promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex.

The OECD helps countries to reinforce domestic capacity and skills to be able to collect the required data, and this is an important part of the WEEF’s purpose – to support and showcase gender-disaggregated data collection.

Cette réunion sera un grand pas en avant pour faire avancer tout ce travail et pour mieux comprendre les actions concrètes nécessaires pour surmonter les multiples obstacles auxquels les femmes sont confrontées.

Je suis fière d’être ici avec de nombreux défenseurs des droits économiques des femmes qui ont contribué à faire progresser les politiques et les mentalités de vos pays. Les bonnes pratiques et l’expérience que vous apportez serviront de base à une nouvelle publication de l’OCDE faisant suite au rapport de l’année dernière.

Alors, comptez sur nous ! L’OCDE continuera son engagement dans le cadre du Programme pour la compétitivité auprès des pays de la région MENA, avec vigueur et enthousiasme, et se tient prêt à vous aider à faire de l’égalité des sexes dans la vie publique et économique une réalité.

Je vous remercie.

[1] Initiative concertée pour le renforcement des acquis des Marocaines (ICRAM)

[2] 2005-16

[3] World Bank data from ILO modelled estimates, 2018

[4] In 2014, women comprised 59% of total students enrolled in computer Science in Saudi Arabia while UK and USA women enrolment were 16% and 14% respectively (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2014)

[5] Source: World Bank data from ILO Modelled estimates, 2018


[7] Measuring the distance to the SDG targets, An assessment of where OECD countries stand, 2017

[8] OECD 2017

[9] United Nations Statistics Division; 2006

Welcome Remarks at the DAC GENDERNET – UN IANWGE Joint Workshop

gendernetPanel1Delivered on 31-10-2018 in Paris, France

Let me welcome you to the 15th joint workshop of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality, which we call the GENDERNET. We are delighted to be hosting you here at the OECD. Today’s theme of “making social protection, public services and infrastructure work for women and girls” sheds light on one of the most fundamental channels through which we can push for greater gender equality.

The OECD has been working on gender issues for decades, on education, entrepreneurship, employment. We have developed lots of analysis, data and policy recommendations on how to increase female empowerment and to achieve better gender equality.

But progress is slow, and gender parity is still a distant prospect in many countries. One thing that is of great importance when looking at the drivers of these gaps, is to look at how women are using their time, or how are they forced to use their time, what are their time constraints, what is preventing them from entering the workforce?

The OECD’s research on women’s time use, developed in close collaboration with UN Women, shows that in OECD countries, and indeed throughout the world, women spend more time in paid and unpaid work combined than men. [1] In countries like Korea, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, and Turkey, for example women undertake more than three-quarters of all unpaid work. In my country, Mexico, this means 4.5 hours per day, compared to the OECD average of 1.5 hours per day.

To redress the balance, we have to change the culture and incentives to have more men sharing these responsibilities. Paternity leave is a good start, but the OECD’s Uphill Battle report found that even though around two thirds of OECD countries offer paid paternity leave, uptake remains low. Korea for example offers men 12 months paternity leave, but no one takes it.

Many cultural and institutional factors inhibit the reduction and redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work through more equitable parental leave schemes.[2]

At the OECD, we have been looking at the effect of increasing access to and improving the quality of public services, social protection systems, and sustainable infrastructure. We have found that these elements can be enablers but without them, they are barriers.

Indeed, these elements are essential if we are to reduce the burden of such work on women and girls, especially in developing countries. Unfortunately, we know that policies and programmes in place today are not always designed with women and girls in mind.

While many countries are investing in more equitable economic and social policies, translating them into better outcomes for women and girls requires gender-focused design and implementation.

First, we need to consider that a lack of infrastructure can disproportionately affect women in developing countries, specifically lack of water, electricity, poor roads, and inadequate transport. For example, in developing countries, inadequate access to time-saving infrastructure, like water pipes and washing machines, increases the total time required for chores.

So in developing countries, like India and Pakistan for example, women spend around ten times as many hours on unpaid work as men.[3]

Women’s needs should be a greater focus of infrastructure development and authorities should provide and facilitate greater access to safe sanitation, electricity, transport, water especially for women in rural or marginalized urban areas.

We have seen the impacts of such investments in Ghana, for example, where our analysis of time-use data finds that having electricity at one’s house increases women’s time in paid activities (formal or informal) by 73 minutes and easier access to water decreases unpaid work time by 25 minutes.[4]

Furthermore, in a developing country context, our research has shown that involving women in the design phase of infrastructure projects in Nepal led to not only a reduction in unpaid care work, but also an increase in women’s decision-making power in the home and public sphere.[5]

By applying a gender lens to the design of public investment in infrastructure, and thinking more carefully about women’s needs, infrastructure can be an enabler to helping women save a great deal of time, opening them up to educational and professional opportunities.

Improving public services is also important to help women, by providing greater access to affordable child and elderly care, which can help reduce and redistribute the burden of unpaid work.

We see evidence of the benefits of this in Nordic countries where investments in subsidised childcare, care for the elderly, and paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers, has enabled the Nordic countries to reduce gender gaps in employment to the lowest levels of all OECD countries. This increase in female employment has boosted growth in GDP per capita in Nordic countries by as much as 20% over the past 50 years[6].

But, gender-conscious investments in infrastructure and public services are not enough.

We must also ensure that social protection systems take women into account, rather than reinforcing patriarchal family structures. Today, only 29% of the population is covered by comprehensive social security systems that include a full range of protections across the life course.[7]

This number sounds low, however, when you consider that these systems almost always target those engaged in uninterrupted, full-time, and formal employment, we begin to realise that these systems greatly exclude people based on gender. Women are more likely to hold informal part-time and non-standard jobs.

25.5% of employed women are engaged in part-time work, compared to only 9.2% of men.[8] And, given women do the majority of unpaid care work, they tend to interrupt their employment more frequently than men to take care of dependents. This means that, based on the way most social protection systems are constructed today, women are less likely to qualify for benefits, putting them at greater risk of poverty, vulnerability, and social exclusion throughout the life cycle.

We therefore need to create social protection systems that respect the value of unpaid domestic work and that follow the worker, not the job.

The good news is that we are learning how to better recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work unpaid care work and seeing that this can lead to inclusive growth that benefits society as a whole.

The OECD’s Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment has spent the last two years thinking about how interventions in social protection, public services and infrastructure can promote women’s economic empowerment in developing countries, specifically by reducing and redistributing women’s unpaid care work.

We also work with the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) whose Network on Gender Equality brings together the 30 DAC members to identify priorities and approaches to, and scale up funding for, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The OECD is also pleased to be working so closely with many of your agencies, including UN Women, through the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2017, on financing for gender equality and tracking the SDGs’ gender commitments, among other topics, the ILO on the gender pay gap, UNDP, through the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, and many others.

Today’s workshop is an opportunity for us to hear about new initiatives and research related to making public services, social protection and infrastructure work better for women and girls.

Because these are elements that we have found can make a difference to women’s access to markets, to employment, and to greater independence and empowerment.

I am hoping that this learning can inform next year’s outcomes from the Commission on the Status of Women whose theme also revolves around public services, social protection, and infrastructure.

We must make sure that our public services, social protection systems, and infrastructure investments take women and girls into consideration, as it is one of the most effective areas we can leverage to achieve gender equality.

Thank you

[1] OECD (2017), The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid,

[4] OECD Development Centre

[5] No reference provided.

[6] OECD (2018), Is the Last Mile the Longest? Economic Gains from Gender Equality in Nordic Countries, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[7] 5 ILO. 2017. World Social Protection Report 2017-2019. Geneva. UN CESCR (United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).

[8] OECD Employment Data.

Centre for Progressive Policy Inclusive Growth Conference Keynote: Days of Populism: Where next for a global movement for Inclusive Growth?

Delivered on 30-10-2018 at the Royal College of Physicians, London, England

Inequality is one of the greatest challenges we face today. Sadly, there has always been inequality between rich and poor. But the inequalities we’re seeing today are different; there are inequalities of opportunity and outcome, as well as income and they’re touching a larger majority than ever. In the 60s, if you had a job, you could more-or-less get by. You would have a house, perhaps even a car, and would be relatively comfortable. However, what we are seeing today, is that people are struggling to pay their bills, to afford a comfortable life, even when they are in work.

At the other end, there is an accumulation of wealth, power and influence. Just look at the average increase in CEO pay in the FTSE (foot-see) 100 last year, which went up by 23%, compared to average worker earnings rising by only 1.7%.[1] A worker on a median salary of 23 thousand pounds would have to work 167 years to earn the median annual pay of their boss. Compare this to 1965, when a worker had to work 20 years to earn their boss’ salary.[2]

Inequalities have worsened as market incomes have mainly gone to the rich and haven’t been redistributed. The richest 10% earn on average more than nine times the income of the poorest 10% in OECD countries, up from seven times 25 years ago. Inequality of wealth is worse: the top 20% of OECD households hold financial assets worth on average around 72 times those of the bottom 20%.

These inequalities accumulate over time. Disadvantages in education, employment, income and health build up and carry through into old age. Last week, the OECD released its Equality in Education report, which showed that disadvantaged pupils are two-and-a-half years behind more affluent peers in their education by age 15.

They then struggle to catch up, earn smaller salaries and may even lead shorter lives. A 30-year-old university-educated woman can expect to live almost 4 years longer than her lower-educated peers. For men this is a shocking extra 7 years.

As inequalities become entrenched, they prevent social mobility. In OECD countries, it would take a child born into a low-income family roughly 4 to 5 generations – or up to 150 years – to reach the average level of income. In the UK, this is slightly higher than the average at 5 generations, as people’s economic status is strongly related to that of their parents. Compare this to Denmark, where it is only 2 generations.

These disadvantages affect children’s mental health, confidence and educational performance. Our study showed that disadvantaged children in the UK are among the unhappiest in the whole OECD: only 15% of disadvantaged students in the UK feel satisfied with life. This is compared to the OECD average of 26%, and much lower than 50% in the Netherlands.

Regional inequalities are also concerning. In the UK, regional disparities are the highest across OECD regions: aggregate wealth in south-east England is 2.5 trillion pounds, compared to 370 billion pounds in the north-east of England.[3] Life expectancy in Blackpool is much lower than in Surrey because of much higher rates of health complications linked to poverty and lower education.[4] This leads to “geographies of discontent”, which we saw play out in the Brexit referendum.

There are also gender inequalities: wage gaps remain at an average of 15% across the OECD in terms of the median monthly pay gap for full-time employees.

Of the FTSE 100 CEOs, only seven are women. Women are less likely to be in the workforce: in 2015, 67% of women in OECD countries were in the labour force compared to nearly 80% of men.

There is also a risk that, if not handled carefully, digitalisation in the labour market could exacerbate inequalities. Accelerated job displacement due to automation is more likely to affect lower-skilled workers, who will need support and retraining to find another job. The OECD estimates that 14% of jobs will be susceptible to automation, with another 32% that will significantly change.

We’re also seeing “winner-takes-most dynamics”, where a few firms – especially in the platform economy – pull away from the rest. They can capitalise on data generated by their users, which allows them to amass large quantities of data, harness and exploit it, to use to their competitive advantage. They can destabilise markets as more traditional firms cannot compete with the lower transaction costs. But who owns this data? Who has a right to it? Who controls it? We have insufficient global governance on cross-border data flows to manage this. We also need international cooperation to ensure fair competition. These structural changes in our economies may leave many people, regions, industries behind.

And of course these trends go hand in hand with what we observe in the economy. Aggregate productivity growth has been stagnant or increased very slowly in most of OECD. This partly reflects the widening dispersion in multifactor productivity across firms, which is in turn associated with lower wages for workers. This has first-order implications for growth and inequality: the dispersion of productivity represents a non-negligible drag on aggregate productivity: increasing these firms’ productivity to the level of the median firm (i.e. by 60%) could increase aggregate productivity by 6%

But the productivity laggards are a diverse bunch!

The bottom 40% of the productivity distribution, represent over 30% of employment, typically younger, smaller than median firm, with a much higher rate of entry, exit and reallocation

They grow faster than median firm, especially if they are larger and more capital intensive.

Laggards are not only “zombie” firms, but also entrants firms with high potential for growth!

There is also a huge digital gender gap that requires action; later today I will be launching the OECD’s new report on this, at Chatham House.

Policy proposals

So what do we do? To build an inclusive growth model, first we must move away from the old mantra of neoliberal economics that promoted “growth first, redistribute later”. We need policies that have equity considerations ex ante, not ex post. We need to develop policies that prioritise the reduction of inequalities, and which put people at the centre.

The OECD’s Inclusive Growth Framework, released in May, advocates three strands of action:

First, governments must invest in people and places that have been left behind. We need an empowering state that invests in quality and affordable health services, education, and housing. In the UK, the median housing cost burden for tenants is 28% of disposable income, five percentage points higher than the OECD average.

Governments must also provide equal opportunities to life-long training and education to equip people with skills for the future, including technical, professional, and social-emotional skills. This is especially important for women and other marginalised groups.

These should be seen as investments and not budget costs, because this is not only about equity.

The OECD’s work on the Productivity-Inclusiveness Nexus shows that these two components are mutually reinforcing. Investing in human capital of children from low-income families supports growth and inclusiveness. Providing workers with quality jobs improves their living conditions, boosts demand, and reduces government spending to address social problems. In the UK, greater investment should go to the post-industrial towns, and I know this government has its Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine projects.[5]

Second, job opportunities can be created through policies that strengthen market competition, stimulate business dynamism and support inclusive labour markets.

Governments must facilitate diffusion of technology and innovation throughout the economy; provide incentives to invest in R&D and new digital equipment can help lagging firms catch-up. We must also update social protection systems to ensure benefits follow the worker, not the job. This is especially important for non-standard workers. Offering early support to displaced workers is also necessary.

Enhanced social dialogue is also powerful for promoting labour and social rights throughout value chains to reduce global inequality.

Third, we need to rebuild trust with efficient, transparent and responsive governments. What we’re seeing in many places are the effects that skewed distribution are having on the governance of countries. Being wealthy can often buy access to political influence and decision-making. Inequalities of income and wealth can translate into political inequalities. A concentration of wealth, power and influence at the top becomes a vicious cycle that doesn’t usually lead to transparent and fair institutions that deliver for the everyday person.

We need to break this concentration of wealth, power and influence at the top with good governance. Governance is the difference between the Nordics, and the more unequal countries in the world, like mine – Mexico.

All these elements need to be part of a holistic economic strategy, not only focused on social policies. For example, when treasuries look at monetary policy, they should also consider the distributional impact.

We know, for example that the financialisation of the economy is one element that can explain the poor distribution of wealth. This is especially relevant to the UK with London as a massive financial hub, where a high concentration of financial sector workers earn large salaries that are decoupled from productivity, compared to other sectors. We also see an unequal distribution of stock market wealth, which is concentrated among high-income households who get most of the income and capital gains generated through capital markets. The benefits are not being felt throughout the UK, but rather remain locked in London and the South East.

So we need to consider the impact of policies holistically and change our perceptions of what is important. We need to get the metrics right and start looking at the more nuanced elements for life satisfaction: are people happy? Are they hopeful about the future? Are there opportunities for their children? At the OECD, our New Approaches to Economic Challenges is doing just this.

Taking comprehensive actions that put people at the centre of public policy is urgent for inclusion, and to ensure a fairer redistribution of wealth and resources.

If nothing is done, we will see further public frustration, divisions and potentially more extreme political outcomes.

We’re already seeing falling levels of public trust in governments and a rise of populist sentiments with more protectionist and isolationist political agendas. People are understandably angry and looking for alternatives.

This is concerning.

Greater economic nationalism will hurt in the long-run: increased market concentration, state ownership of business and restrictive product market regulations lead to reduced domestic competition. On the macro scale, rising protectionism will slow productivity growth and stunt job creation. It also endangers international cooperation in climate change, digital trade and taxation – where multilateral action is urgently needed.

Of greater concern is rising intolerance, rejection of difference and division in societies. It is perhaps a natural human instinct to look for a common enemy when faced with disadvantage. But the growing public discourse in OECD countries of blaming the “Other”, especially around the topic of international migration, will have no good outcome.

These divisions spread hatred, break trust and weaken social cohesion. We must bring evidence and nuanced views to the public debate on difficult issues and put people’s wellbeing at the centre of public policy. We must provide opportunities and hope for future generations.

The OECD can provide the data, analysis and policy recommendations to help achieve more inclusive, resilient, happier societies, and opportunities for our children. Because happiness in the present is often linked to hope for the future.

Thank you.

[1] CIPD and High Pay Centre, Executive Pay: Review of FTSE 100 Executive Pay, 2017

[2] Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation surged in 2017, August 2018

[3] UK Office for National Statistics, Wealth and assets survey July 2014 to June 2016. Includes property, belongings, financial assets and private pensions.

[4]The Lancet (Oct 2018), Changes in health in the countries of the UK and 150 English Local Authority areas 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

[5] Conservative Government initiatives designed to invest in schools, transport, infrastructure and businesses

Launch of OECD Report: Bridging the Digital Gender Divide: Include, Upskill, Innovate

Delivered 30-10-2018 in London, England

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining today for the launch of the OECD’s report: Bridging the Digital Gender Divide.

First, let me thank the Government of Australia, who provided financial support for this research to help implement the G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation; to Chatham House for hosting this launch and, to the report’s lead author, Mariagrazia Squicciarini, who worked tirelessly on these important findings.

I want to speak to you today about digitalisation, and in particular, I want to focus on the growing gender divide that is going unnoticed.

Let’s look at the broader context. The digital revolution is fast transforming our world. It’s providing us with immediate access to a wealth of information and data, facilitating social and business networks, and greatly reducing transaction costs allowing our economies to grow more efficiently.

Platform economy jobs offer us increased flexibility in work life, enabling a better work/life balance, different working hours or remote working.

Almost half of the world’s population is connected to networks, compared to just 4% twenty years ago, which helps include groups often excluded from the labour market, such as people with disabilities, migrants or new parents.

However, the digital transformation presents challenges for workers, firms and policy-makers, at a time when inequalities are increasing.

We know that the future of work, the disappearance of traditional jobs with the rise of automation and AI is causing anxiety. Based on current trends, the OECD predicts that 14% of jobs in OECD countries are at a high risk of being automated, and an estimated additional 32% – will change considerably. Automation threatens low-skilled and routine jobs more than high-skills ones.

Business is also operating differently. A handful of platform economy firms are pulling away from the rest as they harness data they collect and exploit it to their competitive advantage. They can scale without mass, have no fixed costs, few tangible assets, such as buildings and employees, and low marginal costs. Traditional firms cannot compete and they lose out in terms of market share, attracting talent, and gaining access to capital and technology. This “winner-takes-all” dynamics will have an effect on the labour market, and could leave many people, regions, industries behind.

To manage the risks and allow people to benefit from digitalisation, we have to invest in people now, to have the right technical skills, the right socio-emotional skills and self-confidence to adapt to change. Displaced workers will need to receive support to find new work, and be re-skilled and up-skilled to adapt to the new way of working.

This will be especially important for women, who are already lagging behind in the digital world, where historical gender gaps from the analogue world are magnified.

Hurdles to access, affordability, lack of education as well as inherent biases and socio-cultural norms curtail women and girls’ abilities to benefit from opportunities offered by the digital transformation.

This report shines a light on these gaps in the digital economy today, and proposes policy measures to ensure the digital economy is gender inclusive.

Let me start with some facts:

The global digital gender divide in Internet usage has remained at 11% since 2013. The gap in least developed countries has increased by 3%. Africa saw a 4% increase in the Internet usage gender divide. So the gap is widening. Women are simply not as digitally present: worldwide women are on average 26% less likely than men to have a smartphone and to access mobile internet – that’s roughly 327 million fewer women. This is especially true in developing countries: in South Asia women are 70% less likely to have a smartphone.

Digital technologies can be a source of economic empowerment for women, bringing a new source of inclusive global economic growth.

Mobile money has opened up channels for women’s entrepreneurship and resilience, and can boost financial inclusion.

So not having women connected poses a great challenge to women and countries’ development.

Our data show that women are less confident when using digital tools and use them less than men. Aas shown in this graph, fewer women are likely to own and use a mobile money bank account. To address this, promoting digital inclusion through measures like online or video-based upskilling and tutorials could promote greater financial inclusion and empowerment.

When it comes to education more specifically, in OECD countries, we’re seeing few women graduating in ICT subjects, only 25% on average in 2015, despite more women than men completing tertiary education (in 2015). The UK doesn’t fare well at only 19%, compared to Canada at 30%. India is at 45%.

We need to address the divergences in career paths early. Because by age 15, gaps between boys and girls are already emerging.

This is because most education systems introduce gender-based biases and stereotypes that discourage girls from pursuing subjects that are more technical. Young women internalise these stereotypes and thus establish very limited expectations about their own potentials and futures. The effects of this internalisation are clear.

At 15 years, on average across OECD countries, only 0.5% of girls wish to become ICT professionals as compared to 5% of boys. Twice as many boys as girls expect to become engineers, scientists or architects. These gender specific expectations about the future need to change. The UK is actually taking action here, and is one of only two countries along with France, that has a time-bound target to increase uptake of STEM subjects in girls: the UK aims at a 20% increase in the proportion of girls taking A-levels in STEM subjects between 2016 and 2020.

These divergences from a young age translate into the working environment.

The UK does slightly better than other G20 countries when it comes to female ICT specialists as a percentage of the workforce, slightly above Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, but behind the US and Canada. But as you can see, the numbers are very low. And in the UK, most of the participants in the online platform economy – the fastest growing digital sector – are men; in the UK, approximately 69% of workers in the gig economy are male.

This is also the case in innovation and start-up financing. Today, new technology and the big players in the platform economy are often concentrated. Only 250 firms globally generate 70% of R&D and patents, and 44% of trademarks. Currently, women-owned start-ups receive 23% less funding and are 30% less likely to be acquired or to issue an initial public offering – compared to men-owned businesses in OECD countries.

Thus, the profits from technological growth are accruing to a highly privileged elite, and more alarmingly, an exclusively male elite.

Female participation in patenting activities increased at a faster pace than the average rate of patenting over the period 2004-15.

But the low starting point coupled with slow progress means that it will be over sixty years before women are involved in half of all patented inventions. This is damaging broader potential, as data show that inventions featuring at least one female inventor in the team are on average of a wider scope, and therefore are more valuable overall, yet, female participation in inventive activities and innovation remain low. The UK is towards the lower end of the scale, with 8.4% of patents invented by women between 2010-15, above Germany (5.2%), but behind France (10.7%) and India (13.2%).

I also want to highlight another angle. Women are not present in the design or creation of this technology, and software development is a highly male-dominated club. Let me give you one finding from the study about contributors to the open source programming language “R”, which is a widely used tool for analysing and mining big data for machine learning.  77% of software packages for “R” were created by teams composed only of men, while 86% of downloads of R-based software packages were from these male-only teams.

This is particularly worrying, given the growing importance of “big data” analytics and the consequences of gender bias creeping in – we’re potentially passing on gender biases and cultural discriminatory norms to machines, through algorithms and through the next generation of AI.

This is already happening: recently Amazon discarded an AI recruitment algorithm, which it felt was not performing proficiently. The tool had been designed to quickly and efficiently learn what had made a successful Amazon candidate in the past, and apply that learning to future recruitment, sorting applications and offering interviews. In terms of output, it scanned CVs and applications and selected candidates. However, Amazon had to close the recruitment programme. Why? Because the AI machine had actually learnt the discriminatory practices of the past and had taught itself that male candidates were superior to female candidates.

While this progamme is closed, what is clear from this example is that we are at a cross roads for the digital economy. We need to ensure that we use digital tools like AI to help us correct our own hidden biases.

This requires that the development of these tools reflect the diversity we want and not replicate or worsen the current status quo.

To achieve this, we need to ensure that under-represented groups, especially the half of the planet that is female, play a more significant role in shaping the digital transformation.

As automation continues to change the skills demanded of workers, we need to ensure that curriculums equip women with greater self-organisation, management, communication, and advanced numerical skills so that they can compete. This is especially important when it comes to ICT skills as the OECD has found that women gain higher returns from ICT skills than men. This means that equipping women with better ICT skills can even help narrow the gender wage gap.

What’s more, our report finds that women have the potential to gain the most from technological innovation. Digital technologies offer significant leapfrog opportunities for women.

The Internet, digital platforms, mobile phones, and electronic payments offer women the possibility to earn additional income, increase employment, and gain greater access to knowledge and information. The flexible hours and greater control over their personal time, earning total and time saved in commuting is valuable when juggling other commitments. Women undertake the majority of unpaid care, spending 2.6 times longer than men on domestic work. In my country, Mexico, this means 4.5 hours per day, compared to the OECD average of 1.5 hours per day.

The root causes of all this are multi-faceted and complex. They include hurdles to access, such as affordability of new technology; the absence of educational opportunities and lower levels of technological literacy and skills; discrimination and existing inherent gender bias and socio-cultural norms.

In terms of solutions, the focus needs to be on putting in place concrete policy actions fostering women and girls’ full participation and inclusion in the digital economy, while at the same time addressing ingrained stereotypes and social norms that lead to discrimination and even violence against women.

First, it’s important to have targeted educational programmes to encourage girls and women to become involved in STEM programmes, as the UK is doing.

Second, the OECD is also encouraging G20 countries to adopt national digital strategies and skills strategies that actively aim to close gaps in digital access, adoption and usage, and improve affordability of digital technologies, while offering women opportunities to pick up the complementary skills that are in high demand in digital intensive sectors, such as managing and communicating, or self-organisation.

Third, and quite simply, it comes down to actions that we all know: getting more women into the labour market partly by ensuring job quality and providing flexible policies that allow women to work while having a family. We also need to be encouraging men to take paternity leave and to share the domestic work. There also need to be actions to allow for a better redistribution of unpaid childcare and housework and more investment into targeted life-long training.

Linked to this, governments should encourage female entrepreneurship and engagement in innovation industries through incentive schemes, as well as policies that aim at balanced gender representation on company boards and research teams.

It is also vital that governments regularly collect and publish key data, based on a common methodology, so that international organisations, citizens, and the policy makers themselves can fundamentally understand this ever-changing situation.

Finally, to guarantee inclusivity, governments must also ensure that the digital world is safe.

Access to the digital world should be seen as a fundamental right. Online harassment and bullying must be effectively tackled, with countries prohibiting gender-based violence in digital spaces and protecting women’s rights to participate in the digital economy. We need to teach girls and boys to be “digitally literate” when online, so they can be resilient and wise when using social networks or when confronted by cyberbullying, which can affect girls’ self-confidence, a growing source of mental health problems.

We also need to be aware of the impact of social networks and increased use of digital platforms can have on children’s self-image especially girls. The diffusion of images of women and of traditional stereotypes on social networks can be harmful and have a negative effect on girls’ self-perception and self-confidence. We need more female role models and to instil in girls the ability to distinguish between positive and negative portrayals of women.

Countries also need to get the legal and regulatory frameworks right.

With these changes, the opportunities could be significant, not only for women, but also for the whole of economy and society, as we release the full potential of the digital economy.

Today we stand at crossroads, and a choice between progress or repetition. This report, if implemented correctly will help put us firmly on the path of progress, and will help set an ambitious course for achieving digital gender equality.

Thank you.

Oxfam et le Development Finance International: Indice de l’engagement à la réduction des inégalité

Bonjour à tous, toutes.

Je voudrais remercier Oxfam de m’avoir invitée et pour leur efforts pour inciter  les pays et les institutions à  la nécessité de réduire les inégalités. L’OCDE est engagé dans ce domaine depuis longtemps.

Les inégalités sont l’un des plus grands défis auxquels nous sommes aujourd’hui confrontés. Alors que la croissance revient après la crise financière de 2008, les inégalités de revenu, de chances et de résultats restent saisissantes.

Même dans les pays de l’OCDE, les 10 % les plus riches gagnent en moyenne environ dix fois plus que les 10 % les plus pauvres, contre sept fois il y a 25 ans. L’inégalité de richesse et des opportunités sont les plus marquantes. Il y a une dynamique inquiétante parce-que les opportunités et la richesse sont très concentrées au sommet  de l’échelle de revenu, tandis que la privation est aussi concentrée  au niveau  inférieur de l’échelle  de la population. Mais on parle de 40% en bas de l’échelle, contre 10% au sommet ! Même dans les 10 pour-cent, les inégalités existent.

Ces inégalités s’accumulent au fil du temps. Les données de l’OCDE montrent que les inégalités au niveau de l’éducation, de l’emploi, des revenus et de la santé commencent dès le plus jeune âge, et que leurs effets se poursuivent jusqu’à la vieillesse.

Si vous êtes nés pauvre, il est probable que vous allez mourir pauvre. Plus troublant encore : les enfants issus de milieux défavorisés ont des salaires inférieurs et vivent moins longtemps ; l’OCDE a montré qu’il existe un écart de longévité de sept ans entre les personnes ayant un niveau d’instruction élevé et celles ayant un faible niveau d’instruction.

Ces inégalités se pérennisent, et bloquent l’ascenseur social. Ainsi, dans les pays de l’OCDE, il faudrait en moyenne 4 à 5 générations, soit 135 ans, pour qu’un enfant né dans une famille à faible revenu atteigne un niveau médian de revenu.

On observe aussi des inégalités persistantes entre les hommes et les femmes : ces dernières sont affectées de manière disproportionnée par la quasi-totalité des facteurs qui alimentent les inégalités.

Malgré les progrès récents, les femmes sont toujours moins susceptibles que les hommes d’avoir un travail : en moyenne, dans les pays de l’OCDE, 67 % des femmes faisaient partie de la population active, contre quasiment 80 % des hommes en 2015. Dans les pays en développement, et le mien inclus, le taux de participation est de 45% !

Les perspectives mondiales sont encore plus alarmantes : selon les estimations, la moitié la plus pauvre de la population du monde reçoit aujourd’hui moins de 9 % du revenu mondial, tandis que les 1 % les plus riches en perçoivent 20 %.

Inégalité rime aussi avec pauvreté et faible croissance : en Afrique, si le niveau des inégalités avait reculé au niveau de l’Asie, 130 millions de personnes supplémentaires auraient pu sortir de la pauvreté.[1]

Douze des vingt pays du monde où les inégalités sont les plus marquées se trouvent sur le continent africain. Les huit autres sont en Amérique latine.[2]

L’OCDE s’intéresse également aux nouvelles formes d’inégalités en ce qui concerne les technologies numériques.

Des risques comme l’automatisation, l’accélération des suppressions d’emploi et l’instauration d’une dynamique du « presque tout au gagnant » qui voit un petit nombre d’entreprises se détacher du reste du peloton, pourraient présenter des risques. On observe aussi une fracture numérique entre les hommes et les femmes, qui est de 11 % et qui va en s’aggravant.

Toutes ces évolutions ne sont pas sans conséquences ; on le voit dans le recul de la confiance du public dans les gouvernants qui, à 42 % en 2016, a chuté dans les pays de l’OCDE. On le voit aussi dans les urnes, avec des électeurs qui se tournent vers des programmes politiques protectionnistes et populistes.

Bien sûr, on peut comprendre la colère des citoyens : les politiques et les systèmes existants n’ont pas produit de résultats justes, et n’ont pas placé  l’humain et son bien-être au cœur des préoccupations.

Nous avons trop mis l’accent sur une logique consistant à achever la croissance, et ensuite  s’occuper de la  distribution, et enfin  de l’environnement. Il faut changer cet état des choses, et commencer par adresser les inégalités pour achever une croissance forte et durable.

Dès lors, il n’est pas étonnant que les ODD[3] soient spécifiquement axés sur les inégalités, comme un objectif en lui-même, en même temps que la réduction de la pauvreté.

Nous devons nous inquiéter, non seulement pour le manque de revenus et de moyens de réussite  de la base de la population, mais aussi de la concentration en haut de l’échelle de revenus.

Et Oxfam a joué un rôle majeur dans cette prise de conscience, et je les félicite pour la présentation à Bali, la semaine dernière, de l’Indice de l’Engagement à la réduction des inégalités.

Alors, que doivent faire les gouvernements ?

Depuis une décennie, L’OCDE  travaille sur cette question et en 2012 a lancé son Initiative pour la croissance inclusive, pour répondre à la crise financière et montrer que les choses devaient changer.

En mai, nous avons publié notre Cadre d’action pour les politiques de croissance inclusive, qui s’articule autour de trois grands axes pour la réduction des inégalités :

Premier axe : investir dans les individus et les lieux qui ont été laissés pour compte. Nous avons besoin d’un État émancipateur qui investisse dans des services de santé, d’éducation et de logement abordables et de qualité pour aider les citoyens à réussir.

Les pouvoirs publics doivent aussi donner à tous des chances égales de formation et d’éducation en misant sur l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie. C’est particulièrement vrai pour les femmes et les autres groupes marginalisés : il faut davantage de femmes dans les disciplines STIM.

Ces efforts devraient être considérés comme des investissements et non comme des coûts budgétaires puisque, à la fin, tout le monde y gagne.

Deuxième axe : soutenir la dynamique des entreprises et œuvrer en faveur de marchés du travail inclusifs. Pour cela, il faut actualiser les systèmes de protection sociale et faire en sorte que ce soient les prestations, et non l’emploi, qui soient attachés à un travailleur, surtout dans le contexte de la révolution numérique.

Les gouvernements devraient aussi s’employer à stimuler la productivité et la dynamique des entreprises par une meilleure diffusion de la technologie et de l’innovation. Améliorer le dialogue social est également un moyen puissant de promouvoir les droits des travailleurs et les droits sociaux. Oxfam et l’OCDE œuvrent ensemble pour atteindre cet objectif dans le cadre de l’initiative Global Deal, dont je sais que Pierre Habbard parlera plus tard.

Mais je voudrais aussi parler de la fiscalité. Les citoyens ont un autre motif de colère : ils voient que certains respectent les règles et que d’autres, généralement ceux qui ont les moyens de le faire, peuvent s’en affranchir.

Nous voyons les très riches et les grandes entreprises échapper à l’impôt. Les travaux conjoints de l’OCDE et du G20 sur le BEPS[4] luttent contre la fraude fiscale et promeuvent la transparence. Près de 80 milliards de dollars ont déjà pu être ainsi récupérés. Or, ces recettes supplémentaires peuvent être réinvesties plus massivement par les gouvernements dans les services publics.

Troisième axe : nous devons rebâtir la confiance à travers des pouvoirs publics efficients et réactifs. Ce que nous voyons dans bien des endroits, ce sont les conséquences d’une redistribution biaisée sur la gouvernance des pays. Être riche vous permet d’avoir de l’influence politique et du poids dans les décisions. Les inégalités de revenu et de patrimoine se traduisent souvent en inégalités politiques.

Pour rétablir la confiance, nous avons besoin d’une bonne gouvernance.

L’équité est une dimension qui doit être intégrée a priori dans la conception de l’action publique. Nous devons aussi revoir nos instruments de mesure : nous avons tous, donné trop d’importance à la mesure du bien-être matériel, comme le PIB par exemple, au lieu de nous intéresser à des aspects de la satisfaction à l’égard de l’existence : y-a-t-il un espoir pour nos enfants ? Y-a-t-il égalité  des opportunités ? Y-a-t-il un niveau de satisfaction  acceptable en ce qui concerne la santé ?

C’est précisément ce que nous faisons à l’OCDE, avec notre initiative Nouvelles approches face aux défis économiques ou notre indicateur du vivre mieux : nous nous penchons sur d’autres facteurs pour faire en sorte que l’humain soit au cœur des décisions publiques.

Tout cela vaut aussi pour les pays en développement. L’aide internationale existe, mais pourrait être beaucoup plus efficacement ciblée.

Par exemple, l’APD[5] se compose de plus en plus d’aide humanitaire au lieu de prendre la forme d’investissements à long terme en faveur de l’éducation, la santé, des institutions et des systèmes

Là encore, la fiscalité joue un rôle déterminant ; les pays en développement devraient améliorer la structure de leurs systèmes fiscaux afin de permettre une redistribution plus efficace. L’emploi importe aussi : les gouvernements doivent s’attaquer à l’économie informelle, un problème particulièrement aigu en Amérique latine, en créant des emplois et en étendant la protection sociale aux travailleurs informels.

Les ODD sont multidimensionnels pour une bonne raison.

L’OCDE s’y emploie avec force.

Vous pouvez donc compter sur nous pour soutenir vos travaux si précieux.

Voilà le message que je souhaite faire passer auprès de vous : certes, des mesures peuvent être prises, mais ce qui fera la différence, c’est la bonne gouvernance des pays et mesurer ce qui est vraiment important – le bien-être des populations, et mettant l’accent sur la réduction des inégalités. Toutes les politiques doivent être révisées pour  contribuer à  cet objectif.

Regardez les pays nordiques : nous devrions nous inspirer davantage de leur exemple et apprendre de leur réussite.

L’agenda de la croissance inclusive demandera de gros efforts, et beaucoup de coopération. Grâce à des partenariats et débats innovants comme ceux d’aujourd’hui, nous pouvons réussir si nous mettons tous, l’accent sur une croissance inclusive plaçant le bien-être au cœur de l’action, partout dans le monde.

[1] Entre 1990 et 2016.

[2]. 1. Afrique du Sud ; 2. Namibie ; 3. Haïti; 4. Botswana ; 5. Suriname ; 6. Zambie ; 7. République centrafricaine ; 8. Lesotho ; 9. Belize ; 10. Eswatini ; 11. Brésil ; 12. Colombie ; 13. Panama ; 14. Guinée-Bissau ; 15. Rwanda ; 16. Honduras ; 17. Guatemala ; 18. Costa Rica ; 19. Mexique ; 20. Paraguay.

[3] ODD = Objectifs de développement durable = SDGs

[4] BEPS = l’érosion de la base d’imposition et le transfert de bénéfices

[5] APD = L’aide publique au développement = ODA