Women's economic participation

Priority gender issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Despite some progress being made towards achieving gender equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), gender stereotyping and discrimination against women remain widespread. Key findings include: Awareness and implementation of the Law on Gender Equality (LGE) is weak. Gender stereotypes are prevalent in the media. Few women serve as ...» more

Women’s empowerment: What works?

Andrea Cornwall

Empowerment is one of the most elastic development buzzwords: emerging as a call for transformative social action aimed at confronting inequalities, to a contemporary mainstream development concern more focused on provision of resources, assets or services. This paper argues that only through the former can empowerment work challenge the power relations that underpin pervasive ...» more

Can climate finance contribute to gender equity in developing countries?

Sam Wong

Climate finance is generally known as financial flows mobilised by industrialised country governments and private entities that support climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. This paper raises questions as to whether climate finance creates a level playing field as women and men decide how climate resources are used, and whether climate funds are able ...» more

Women’s rights in the cocoa sector: Examples of emerging good practice

Ama Marston

Many existing cocoa sector programmes have tended towards community development without understanding the links between female beneficiaries and their supply chain. This paper identifies 10 areas of emerging good practice to learn from and encourages looking at the social dimension of production and interactions between differing actors to bring a gender dimension. It also ...» more

Labor markets and poverty in village economies

Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Narayan Das, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaiman

This paper reports the results of a randomized evaluation of the nationwide roll-out of a program that transfers assets and skills to the poorest women in villages in Bangladesh, studied through a detailed labour survey that tracks over 21,000 households, drawn from the entire wealth distribution in 1,309 rural Bangladeshi villages, four times over a seven year period. The ...» more

Women’s resilience: Integrating gender in the response to Ebola

African Development Bank

This report presents the results of desk research by the African Development Bank’s Office of the Special Envoy on Gender on the implications of Ebola virus disease (EVD) for women in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The reduction in health services has increased maternal, infant, and child mortality rates. According to reports across the three countries, women farmers and ...» more

Building effective women’s economic empowerment strategies


How can the private sector actively promote women’s economic empowerment? This paper argues that real progress will come when companies shift from opportunistic and isolated initiatives to holistic and integrated approaches. It proposes eight building blocks that should address underlying systemic barriers to women’s economic empowerment and include gender dynamics across the ...» more

Women, business and the law 2016: Getting to equal

World Bank

Since 2009, Women, business and the law has collected data about legal restrictions on women’s entrepreneurship and employment in order to inform policy discussions and promote research on the linkages between the law and women’s economic opportunities. This report is the fourth in the series. The report includes data on seven indicators: accessing institutions, using ...» more

The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth

McKinsey Global Institute

If women participated in the economy identically to men what would global GDP look like? This report explores the economic potential available if the global gender gap were to be closed, and highlights the role of new regional and global coalitions between policy-makers, non-governmental actors, and private-sector leaders to drive this change. The report maps 15 gender ...» more

Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights

UN Women

How far has the empowerment of women and girls translated into tangible results on the ground and what more is needed to bridge the gaps between rhetoric and reality? This Report focuses on the economic and social dimensions of gender equality. In doing so, it aims to unravel some of the challenges and contradictions facing the world today: at a time when women and girls have ...» more

Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work to Achieve Women’s Economic Empowerment

Deepta Chopra

It is widely known that women's economic empowerment can lead to economic growth. However, it is important to understand women's economic empowerment as not simply about labour force participation, but also about the choice to work, the choice of sector, location and working hours. Taking unpaid care work into account in policies and programmes has the potential to ...» more

Gender in development

Gender inequality matters to development for two reasons. First, it is a justice problem. Ideologies of women’s inferiority are used to justify serious human rights abuses including female infanticide, child marriage, female genital mutilation, sexual violence, and deprivation of equal access to health care, education, property, employment and pay. Second, gender inequality is developmentally inefficient….» more

Men, masculinities, and changing power

MenEngage Alliance, UN Women, UNFPA

The world is still far from achieving equality between women and men, but by many measures—including health, education, political participation, and income— it is closer to it than it was 20 years ago. This discussion paper draws on examples of various initiatives and research from around the world that illustrate global progress on men's engagement in gender equality in ...» more

Links between women’s empowerment (or lack of) and outbreaks of violent conflict

A number of studies quantitatively find a strong correlation between levels of gender inequality and conflict. They find that gender inequality increases the likelihood that a state will have internal conflict and international disputes. There is substantial evidence that traditional patriarchal gender identities lead to militaristic and violent conflict approaches. Women ...» more

Donor action on women’s employment in ASEAN countries

Donors have attempted little to improve women’s participation and conditions in the ASEAN workforce. Isolated cases highlight some findings: Success stories include donors action through: national policies (Cambodia); mandatory monitoring of working conditions (Cambodia); gender-sensitive design and evaluation of projects (Viet Nam, Cambodia); capacity development for ...» more

The opportunities of digitizing payments: How digitization of payments, transfers, and remittances contributes to the G20 goals of broad-based economic growth, financial inclusion, and women’s economic empowerment

World Bank

This paper synthesizes the evidence that the widespread adoption of digital payments in all their forms, including international and domestic remittances, can be instrumental in reaching the financial inclusion goals of the G20. It concludes that:Digitizing helps overcome the costs and physical barriers that have beset otherwise valuable financial inclusion efforts. Digital ...» more

Voice, empowerment and accountability

Voice, empowerment and accountability (VEA) interventions aim to support poor and marginalised people to build the resources, assets, and capabilities they need to exercise greater choice and control over their own development, and to hold decision-makers to account. This guide provides an overview of the best available evidence on the impact of VEA interventions. It identifies ...» more

Investing in Women’s Employment: Good for Business, Good for Development

International Finance Corporation

Investing in women’s employment is key to unlocking growth in emerging and developing economies. It makes business sense to support better employment opportunities for women beyond minimum statutory compliance. This report has been developed as a guide for companies operating in emerging and developing economies and is intended to inform and encourage further progress on ...» more

Climate and Environment Assessment: Women’s Economic Empowerment and Growth in Low Income Countries: a Global Research Programme (2013-2018)

Ian Grant

This report assesses the environmental impact of a new DFID multilateral research programme, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Growth in Low Income Countries (WEEG). It also looks at how climate change could affect the success of the WEEG programme. The WEEG research programme will help generate and inform policies that promote women’s contribution to economic growth. This will ...» more