Skip to main content

Report on women’s human rights in the changing world of work

Issued by

Working Group on discrimination against women and girls


16 April 2020



In the present report, the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls analyses the gender dimensions of major trends changing the world of work, including technological and demographic changes, accelerated globalization and the shift to sustainable economies. The report underlines the need to focus on the structural and systemic discrimination already faced by women in all facets of their life, which places them at greater risk of further discrimination.

The Working Group identifies challenges to and opportunities for women’s enjoyment of their rights to work and at work resulting from these trends. The report sets out a vision for a world of work that starts with women’s human rights—and transforms the current economic model through the redistribution of power and resources. A world of work that realises women’s human rights will not only benefit women—it will uplift us all.


The Working Group recommends targeted actions to ensure current trends do not result in further discrimination of women. Actions include:

  • Recasting economic policies to redistribute power and resources, and ensure that human wellbeing, decent work and environmental sustainability are not ignored in favour of profits and economic growth
  • Regulating corporations to uphold international human rights and environmental standards
  • Providing universal access to paid maternity, paternity and parental leave for all workers, regardless of gender, including those in non-standard employment and informal work
  • Increasing investment to provide universal childcare and other care services
  • Ensuring women and adolescent girls have access to sexual and reproductive health services that enable autonomy in decision-making
  • Encouraging trade unions to ensure equal representation for women in decision-making
  • Strengthening existing laws to prevent and effectively respond to sexual harassment, ensuring coverage for all workers and places of work
  • Introducing laws to address domestic violence as a workplace issue and provide paid domestic violence leave for all workers
  • Requiring employers to report on their actions in addressing sexual harassment and violence and make their reporting publicly available

Access an interactive version of the report, “Reimagining the world of work so it is equal for everyone” in (English | Español)

Inputs Received
Inputs Received

The Working Group is grateful to all stakeholders who responded to the questionnaire to inform the development of the report. Responses are listed below.

Member States

NGOs and Civil Society Organizations


Other stakeholders