Gender and women's empowerment
Equality between men and women is more than a matter of social justice; it's a fundamental human right. It also makes good economic sense. When women have equal access to education and participate fully in business and economic decision-making, they are a key driving force against poverty.
Women represent about 70 percent of the world’s poor, comprise two-thirds of the global illiterate population, are more likely to hold vulnerable jobs, and frequently earn lower wages than men.
To be effective, any agenda aimed at promoting socioeconomic development should aim to promote gender equity.
As of 2021, PEP has supported 90+ projects in 40+ different countries that focus primarily on gender issues, including 36 projects in low-income or fragile countries. Current gender-focused activities include two multi-country initiatives, designed to assess the gender dimensions and implications of policies related to employment and climate change in Africa.
The cutting-edge methodologies promoted through PEP's research research support program allow researchers to investigate a variety of issues , such as gender disparities and women’s financial exclusion (see common trends below), at the household, community, and national levels. PEP also provides training in gender analysis through its online course program.
As PEP researchers consult with policy actors at every stage of the research process, the studies explore priority issues for their country. PEP’s combination of scientific and policy outreach support works to link new and reliable knowledge to policy action. See how PEP research contributes to informing policy in targeted countries.
Over the years, a number of common trends have emerged from the findings of these projects, summarized in the following articles:
- Female entrepreneurship hindered more by social and cultural contraints than access to finance
- Discrimination and low bargaining power: Sources of inequity forwomen in Asia
- The power of microcredit for women
- Teen girls choose education over childbearing
- Women at high risk of poverty in rural Africa
- Supporting female empowerment through business training
More recently, PEP commissioned a series of articles, papers and briefs to identify key lessons for gender policy in sub-Saharan Africa, from the findings of 14 projects supported between 2019 and 2021. These include:
- A local, gender lens to define policy options for women’s employment in Africa, by Angela Hawke
- Gender perspective on productive employment in rural farm and non-farm sectors in Africa, by Rosebell Kagumire
- Other papers and briefs are forthcoming
Scroll down to find the full list of gender-focused PEP projects, lists of related publications and a list of PEP researchers involved in these projects. These lists are searchable.
Since 2020, PEP's annual distance training programs comprise online courses on gender analysis. PEP-affiliated experts have also compiled lists of training materials and recommended readings on "gender and women's economic empowerment".
In 2017, PEP organized a high-level Research Forum on integrating gender into economic policy analysis, gathering experts from around the world. Download the full reportto find the key conclusions and recommendations, and the panelists' presentations are available on the conference webpage.
Find about more about Incorporating a Gender Perspective into Economic Research from world-leading gender analysis expert James Heintz.
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