That equality is a key lever for economic and social growth and development has been made clear by international organizations of all kinds. The latest to offer its own calculations in this regard has been the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which estimates that equating the activity rate and working time of women to those of men would allow Spain to increase per capita wealth by around 8% between now and 2060.
The organization that encompasses developed countries is committed to an integrated approach to gender equality in all policies. In a report published this Tuesday, the ‘think tank’ led by Mathias Cormann establishes the economic potential offered by equality policies in the labor field for each of its member countries, which depends to a large extent on the depth of the gap. in this ambit.
The potential for Spain is somewhat below the OECD average, in which an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant of 9.2% could be achieved by 2060, but it is higher than that of France, the United States or most of the countries of central and eastern Europe. In Spain, the simultaneous reduction of the differences between men and women in the activity rate and working time could offer an increase in GDP per inhabitant of 0.21 percentage points each year, compared to 0.23 on average.
This is much less than the 0.52 points of Mexico, the 0.48 of Costa Rica, the 0.43 of Turkey or the 0.41 of Colombia, which are the members that show the greatest room for improvement because they are also the ones with the largest gaps today. At the opposite extreme, in Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia the progression would be limited to 0.06-0.08 percentage points each year.
part time employment
In the case of Spain, women in 2021 worked 5 hours less per week in paid employment than men in 2021a difference that has narrowed compared to 6 hours in 2010. This is a less pronounced fracture than in the OECD as a whole, where women worked 5.3 hours less than men each week in 2021 and 6.5 hours in 2010.
The countries with the largest gap in working time are Switzerland (9.8 hours in 2021), the Netherlands (9.1) and Costa Rica (8.5). Again, at the opposite extreme are countries in Central and Eastern Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary, and Lithuania, where each is less than an hour apart.
With regard to the activity rate, that is, the percentage of those who have a job among those of working age, Spain is in a worse situation than the OECD average. Its female activity rate was 59.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022 (69.2% for men) compared to 66.7% on average in the organization (76.6% for men). In other words, the room for improvement is much wider for Spain there, in the incorporation to work of women who are now unemployed.