Advancing Gender Equality

Case Studies from Across the Commonwealth

image of Advancing Gender Equality

The Commonwealth Secretariat has been a pioneer in promoting women’s rights and gender equality since the 1976–85 UN Decade for Women, and of gender mainstreaming since the UN 4th World Conference on Women, to which our 1995 Plan of Action on Gender and Development was a Commonwealth contribution.

This publication brings together case studies prepared in connection with the end-of-term review of the 2005–15 Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality. The case studies are based on submissions and interviews with government representatives, gender specialists and other stakeholders, including civil society organisations, from 20 countries representing all regions of the Commonwealth.

The examples were selected to demonstrate a range of strategies that can be employed to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Together they help to show what perpetuates gender inequality and offer approaches that can be adopted to help end unjust discrimination.



Women's Business Council, United Kingdom

Over the last several decades, the United Kingdom (UK) has seen steady progress on the situation of women in economic activities. Women hold key positions as both workers and consumers, and there are currently more women in the workforce than ever before having increased by 771,000 to a high of 14.4 million since 2010 (HM Treasury 2014). Although a gender pay gap still exists, it is almost zero for those under 40 working full time (WBC 2014). This progress has been seen across all levels of the UK’s employment sector, including in high skilled, technical and management roles (HM Treasury 2014).


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