Upcoming event: Interventions for women’s economic empowerment in South Asia

Women’s Economic Empowerment Project, Addis Ababa - Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

We are pleased to be involved in a session at the What Works Global Summit in London from 26-28 September.

Join us on Wednesday 28 September, 9-10.15 am, BO7, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square.

  • Chair: Beryl Leach, 3ie, India
  • Jyotsna Jha, Director Centre for Budget and Policy Studies Bangalore, India
  • Shraddha Chigateri, Research Fellow Institute of Social Studies Trust New Delhi, India
  • Parul Agarwal, Associate Director — Financial Inclusion Centre for Microfinance, IFMRLEAD Chennai, India

The countries comprising South Asia rank among the lowest in the world in terms of women’s economic participation, according to the World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Gender Gap Report. Less than one-third of women in the region were employed in the formal labour force in 2014. Potential barriers to women’s economic participation include patriarchal social norms that restrict women’s educational and economic achievement, limited employment opportunities, and inadequate access to services to alleviate the demands imposed by unpaid care work. Credible evidence for how programmes and policies can be used to alleviate gender inequity in the workforce is limited.

This session will describe the early qualitative and quantitative results from three studies that are evaluating interventions for increasing women’s economic empowerment in the South Asian context. The first study is an evaluation of the Mahila Samakhya, an Indian government programme designed to mobilise the poorest women into collectives and initiate actions against gender barriers, on women’s economic empowerment. The second study will assess whether employment programmes, including the MGNREGA and SEWA programmes in India and the Karnali Employment Programme (KEP) and Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme in Nepal, can help women achieve a positive balance between unpaid care work and paid work, and facilitate women’s labour force participation. The third study evaluates the effect of an affordable, community-based daycare programme on women’s economic opportunities in rural Rajasthan, India.

The panel will conclude with a synthesis of research findings, a discussion of research gaps, and a consideration of policy implications.

To see more visit the website https://www.wwgs2016.org/programme/

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