International women's day 2023: How PEP research is helping advance women's economic empowerment in the Global South

March 2023

As we celebrate International Women's Day, amidst an ongoing pandemic, the growing climate crisis and rollbacks to women’s progress seen in regions across economic spectrums, advancing the rights of women has never been so urgent.

With the unprecedented challenges facing women today, the need to push for progress and create opportunities for women to thrive has never been so urgent. This requires a renewed commitment to achieving gender equality, breaking down barriers to women's success, and ensuring that every woman has access to the resources and support they need to lead prosperous and fulfilled lives. 

March 8, 2023 — Women face significant challenges in achieving gender equality. Poverty, unpaid care work, precarious jobs, and lower wages are just a few of the obstacles that prevent women around the world from full economic participation. While global inequities persist, research has shown the pivotal role of women in driving growth and progress. Numerous studies, including those supported by PEP, have provided evidence that empowering women boosts economic growth and improves the well-being of their families and communities. 

In honour of International Women's Day, we reaffirm our commitment to empowering women and reflect on our efforts to advance gender equality. We believe sustainable and equitable development can only be achieved when women have equal access to opportunities, resources, and decision-making. 

Women Some of our most notable research initiatives have focused on ways to ensure access to paid employment. Our findings show that policies supporting women's participation in the labor market, such as expanding childcare services and access to productive resources—like financing and farmland, can help bridge gender gaps.  

Providing opportunities for women to lead and contribute to research initiatives is also fundamental to our work. Women have an essential place in this field, and with access to equitable opportunities, we can promote career growth, leadership development, and the advancement of the development field more broadly. 

One of our key initiatives to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, reduce poverty, and enhance job creation in the Global South is our seminal program, Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment (PAGE). The PAGE initiative has played a vital role in supporting locally led and policy-engaged research, bringing together a diverse team of 560 researchers to work on studies spanning 47 countries. Notably, we collaborated with many talented women, who accounted for 56% of the researchers, bringing their unique perspectives and expertise to PAGE

We are proud of our work to advance gender equality in areas such as agriculture, health, education and labor market outcomes. However, we recognize that there is still much to be done. At PEP, we are committed to continuing our efforts toward shaping a world where gender equality is not just a goal but a reality for all. 

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