Education International
Education International

OECD: EI speaks up for young people, jobs and gender equality

published 27 May 2011 updated 30 May 2011

EI has broken new ground today by addressing the full Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the need to tackle youth unemployment and gender inequality.

Speaking for the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) at the meeting in Paris, which was chaired by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, EI’s Senior Consultant to the General Secretary, Bob Harris, called on the 34 OECD member governments to take inspiration from the Marshall Plan which successfully supported European reconstruction after the Second World War, and then led to the foundation of the OECD.

Harris stated that: “The new OECD Paradigm for Development must connect with reality. That reality includes increasing unemployment, precarious jobs, youth who are neither in employment nor in education or training, and children, especially girls, locked in child labour instead of school.

“Two lessons from the Marshall plan are that sufficient resources can be raised with political will, and that people must be empowered. Resources for Education For All, and skills for health and social protection are needed for societies to escape the vicious circles of grinding poverty. Empowerment includes the role of independent trade unions.”

TUAC has consistently supported efforts to mainstream gender issues into the OECD programme through measures that take action against discrimination, combat violence against women, overcome gender pay gaps, and promote equity for women and girls in education and employment.

Bob Harris concluded by pointing out that, “Injustice is an issue in OECD countries too. The key is equity, because inequity cannot be sustained over the long term. An equitable approach to growth is a sustainable approach to growth.”

To read Bob Harris' full intervention, please click here.

For the TUAC statement, please click here.

To read Hillary Clinton’s speech of 26 May in the session on Gender and Development, please click here.

All statements, speeches, press releases, briefings and related documents are also available on the OECD website.