Women’s Economic Empowerment in South Asia             (Hosted by SAR GIL)

SPOTLIGHT REPORTS

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Using Digital Solutions to Address Barriers to Female Entrepreneurship: A Toolkit

South Asia is undergoing rapid and steady growth in digitization and e-commerce, providing an important avenue for female entrepreneurs that can offer a more level playing field than the traditional marketplace. This comprehensive website from the World Bank offers a compendium of toolkits, guides, case studies, and numerous other resources for policymakers and practitioners designing interventions to further female entrepreneurship.

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Engendering Access to STEM Education and Careers in South Asia (2023)

A “leaky pipeline” in upper secondary school means girls are underrepresented in science and mathematics tracks in higher education and technical training, reducing their access to and interest in STEM careers. This handy report provides a menu of potential interventions to fix the leaky pipeline.

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The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems

Transforming agricultural systems to improve productivity, closing gender gaps in access to assets and resources, and changing discriminatory social norms remain critical for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in South Asia. This comprehensive global report from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization is replete with data on constraints faced by women in the sector and promising interventions and policy changes that have yielded positive results.

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Women and Online Learning in Emerging Markets

This fascinating study from the IFC, developed in partnership with Coursera and the European Commission, gives a comprehensive view of trends in Educational Technology (EdTech) – which is projected to grow to USD404 billion by 2025. EdTech is particularly salient in South Asia where conservative attitudes and concerns about mobility, safety, and family considerations impact women’s learning choices. This report is a must-read for a better understanding of the far-reaching potential of online learning in emerging economies and the importance of reaching out to women learners to achieve gender parity.

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What do We Know About Interventions to Increase Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment in South Asia? Care Polices and Care Services

Fifth in the series of systematic reviews carried out by the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab, this brief reviewed thousands of potential studies on the impact of childcare interventions on selected WEE outcomes and found five that met rigorous impact evaluation criteria. These studies provide important insights. First, in the presence of other constraints, the impact of childcare on WEE may be muted. Second, aggregate effects hide heterogeneity based on socio-economic status, norms, and household structure. The third insight, applicable to broader analysis of childcare, is that the quality of care is often insufficiently regulated and understudied.

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The United States National Plan to End Gender-based Violence: Strategies for Action (2023)

The United States government this month announced its first plan to end gender-based violence. Pillar 3 of the comprehensive strategy includes goals to prevent GBV and provide economic security and long-term housing to survivors.

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Legal Gender Equality as a Catalyst for Convergence (2022)

Convergence refers to when poorer economies catch up to richer economies in income. This research looks at a global sample of laws over five decades and finds that gains from gender-equal laws “facilitate income convergence over time” by promoting women's economic inclusion.

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How Are Gender Norms Perceived? (2023)

Even in the age of social media saturated with updates and general airing of opinions, could it be possible that people misperceive something as fundamental as a woman’s right to work? A new (and major) study finds widespread support for women’s right to paid work all over the world, among both men and women. Everyone underestimates the level of support -- and this lowballing is particularly stark when it comes to estimating men’s support. The researchers of this groundbreaking work suggest a simple policy choice applicable for rich and poor countries alike: clearing misperceptions to foster greater gender equality.