Women’s Economic Empowerment in South Asia



Leaning in at Home: How Promoting Women in the Workplace Can Lead to More Gender Equality at Work and in the Household

Throughout the world, women continue to be underrepresented in supervisory or management roles, which keeps them from fulfilling their economic potential. However, little is known about what works to promote women in the workplace and what effects female career advancement may have on roles in the family. In this webinar, the Women’s Economic Empowerment in South Asia (WEESA) Community of Practice and the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab (SAR GIL), in partnership with the World Bank's Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) department will offer evidence from field experiments in Bangladesh’s garment industry which shows the importance of soft skills and attitudes in the process of selecting and training female supervisors


Women On The Move:

How Mobility Can Enhance Women's Economic Empowerment

Lack of safe mobility remains a major constraint for women's economic empowerment. On March 29, 2923, WEESA hosted a webinar titled "Women on the Move: How Mobility Can Enhance Women's Economic Empowerment". Participants discussed seminal research on the cost of harassment on women's choice of colleges, gender-sensitive urban planning, and urban sprawls, as well as a World Bank toolkit to foster gender-responsive urban mobility.


From Safety to Empowerment Pathways for Improved Mobility for Women in South Asia

South Asia had the second lowest female labor force participation (FLFP) globally as of 2019. Across the region, gender disparities are stark with over 23 % for women (compared to 77% for men) in the labor force. Restricted mobility is a key hurdle reducing women’s freedom to invest in human capital and to access quality jobs. Importantly, improving mobility goes beyond improving connectivity. For women, it is often about preventing sexual harassment in public transport and spaces. Alarming percentages of women and girls report being sexually harassed in public spaces and public transport in South Asia. Research done in the region confirms that perceptions of safety in public places have an important impact on women’s decision of whether or not to take up work outside the home and if and where to study.


Towards Safer Migration: Countering Human Trafficking in an Integrated South Asia

Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry globally and a leading human rights challenge that disproportionally affects women and youth. A significant problem across South Asia, typical practices of human traffickers include exploiting individuals who are seeking to migrate to neighboring countries looking for economic opportunities. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that over 150,000 people are trafficked annually in South Asia—women and girls make up 44% and 21%, respectively, of trafficking victims. Forced labor, sexual exploitation, and forced marriage are recorded as the most common forms of trafficking in the region


Women's Groups in South Asia: Landscape, Impact, and the Future

Women’s groups include self-help groups (SHGs), livelihoods groups, producer collectives, and other groups formed with social action, health, and empowerment objectives. Women’s groups are widespread in South Asia where they are instrumental in generating economic opportunities and enhancing women’s well-being. The existing literature highlights promising evidence of positive impacts of some women’s group types on women’s economic, political, reproductive, and social empowerment. However, the women’s groups’ objectives differ as do their results.


Launch Event Women's Economic Empowerment in South Asia (WEESA) Community of Practice