Welcome to the Gender & Work Database

The Gender & Work Database (GWD) is an online research tool designed for both researchers and students with varying levels of expertise. The database is informed by a feminist political economy approach and provides resources that facilitate research on gender and work. The GWD can be used as an interactive classroom tool, to obtain basic information on a topic, or as a research tool to examine complex social relations. To fully apprehend its orientation, users of the database are encouraged to consult the director’s introduction to the GWD prior to using its resources.

The GWD is connected to its sister website, the comparative perspectives on precarious employment database (CPD), which provides users with the resources to conduct cross-national comparative research on labour market insecurity in industrialized contexts.


The GWD introduction provides an overview of the theoretical approach and concept underpinning the structure and design of the database. This document outlines the core components of the website, including the library and thesaurus resources, statistical database, and interactive modules.


The GWD is composed of the six integrated and interactive modules listed below. These modules represent different entry points into the study of gender and work.

precarious employment
health care
unpaid work


The GWD library provides access to a wide range of resources including research papers, books, book chapters, journal articles, statistical tables and government publications. These documents have been selected by leading experts in the study of gender and work and are intended to help researchers employ a feminist political economy lens, apply feminist methodology, and learn and use field-specific language through a controlled vocabulary developed specifically for the GWD resources.

library tutorial
The library tutorial introduces users to the GWD library and the search functions of the database.

library database
This searchable library database catalogues resources by subject, module, title, author and thesaurus search terms.


Serving as a bridge between the library and statistical components, the thesaurus identifies core concepts derived from scholarship on gender and work, with particular attention to their interrelationship. The thesaurus has three central functions: first, it provides a controlled vocabulary for searching the library, helping researchers link the statistical tables and the library of resources. Its second function is descriptive – that is, it describes the language of the field, and illustrates relationships between terms, concepts and ideas. Finally, its third function is prescriptive in that it seeks to communicate how creators of the GWD understand certain ideas, and the connections between them.

thesaurus tutorial
The thesaurus tutorial explains how to use the thesaurus tool, what a controlled vocabulary is, and how to understand the thesaurus search results.

thesaurus database
Search the GWD’s thesaurus to find key concepts, equivalent terms, semantic relationships, and library subject headings.


The statistical tables of the GWD enable researchers to focus on aspects of work and employment as they relate to gender and other social factors. The database can be used to obtain basic information on a topic (e.g., women’s labour force participation, immigration, etc.) or to examine a variety of complex social relations (e.g., gendered precariousness). The statistical tables are multidimensional and are displayed using Beyond 20/20, a program that enables users to interact with the data presentation as desired. University and community users conducting research for non commercial purposes and teaching may apply for access to the statistical data.

statistics tutorial
The statistics tutorial explains how to use and manipulate the statistical tables using the Beyond 20/20 program, how to approach statistical data, and how to get the most out of the data available on the GWD.

apply for statistics access
Although free of charge, the statistical data on the GWD is not available for full public use. This page explains eligibility requirements, how to apply for access, and how to cite GWD module content and data.

statistics database
The statistical database provides users with access to interactive, multidimensional statistical tables that can be manipulated using Beyond 20/20.


The comparative perspectives on precarious employment database (CPD) is a sister site to the GWD.  A new database launched in 2014, the CPD includes data for 33 countries including Australia, Canada, the United States and 30 European countries dating back to 1983.