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


WEESA is a virtual knowledge-sharing platform that aims to promote and facilitate regional exchange, dialogue, and capacity building on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and strengthen linkages between evidence and action. Members are researchers, policymakers,  development practitioners, and other stakeholders interested in how to expand and accelerate WEE and gender equality in South Asia. Launched in January 2022, our community is expanding and attracts members who work outside of and within the World Bank.

WEESA envisions a South Asia where women have equal economic opportunities, access to resources and assets, and decision-making power. To advance this vision,  WEESA offers a repository of curated WEE-related resources, organizes regular webinars and events, and occasionally provides support for innovative research studies and pilot initiatives to eligible individuals and organizations in South Asia.

WEESA is hosted by the World Bank’s South Asia Region Gender Innovation Lab (SAR GIL), a programmatic Advisory Services and Analytics activity that promotes evidence-based solutions for addressing gender gaps in South Asia. Support is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE) and the South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program (SARTFP).



June 2024

Women are gaining ground. Over the past three decades, the global average of women in parliaments has risen from 11% to 27% and women are increasingly represented on executive teams. These upward trends not only benefit ...

Assets and Resources

May 2024

Gender inequalities in assets and resources remain a central impediment to increasing productivity, well-being, and economic growth. Studies show that women’s improved access to and control over land, housing, property, ...

Green Transitions

April 2024

Adapting to climate change has become the defining development challenge of our time. As green transitions precipitated by the climate crisis gather momentum, making a clean break from gender discrimination becomes all ...

With or Without Him

March 2024

There are few clear answers in the nascent field of study focusing on male engagement in Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programs and its impacts. Despite widespread assumptions that engaging men must necessarily be ...

Social Protection

February 2024

Social protection programs ensure a minimum level of economic well-being, protecting the most vulnerable from poverty and destitution. Integrating gender into the design and implementation of these safety nets can ...

Gender Data

January 2024

We’re ushering in the New Year with a plea for more and better gender data and measurement. What gets measured matters, and the availability of sex-disaggregated data remains woefully inadequate – especially across ...


December 2023

We have scoured the internet to identify this curated suite of action-oriented WEE-related insights -- full of lessons learned and recommendations for accelerating gender equality and women's economic empowerment in ...

Skills and Vocational Education

November 2023

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) can provide a lifeline for the hundreds of millions of women who couldn’t finish school and the left behind youth who are not in school, employment, or training. As ...


October 2023

Development indicators show that South Asian women are much better educated than a generation ago and, if the trend in school enrollment continues, will surpass men in the future. However, this improvement in human ...


September 2023

Between 1991 and 2021, the percentage of South Asian women engaged in agriculture declined from 76% to 59%, according to the World Bank’s data portal. Despite this trend, agriculture is the biggest source of employment (...

Digital Inclusion

August 2023

With the world abuzz about advances in machine learning artificial intelligence, developments in the digital world have never been so important. It is estimated that 90% of future jobs will require ICT skills, making ...


July 2023

The dearth of childcare services in South Asia is mirrored by the dearth of rigorous research to understand its implications. As our Spotlight on the policy brief from the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab shows, there ...

Gender-based Violence

June 2023

Gender-based violence is frequently called a shadow pandemic, one that has ruined a staggering number of lives for centuries. In India, for example, 28% of ever-married women aged 15-49 report having faced physical ...

Policies and Legislation

May 2023

From 1970 to 2022, women all over the world fought to pass 2,000 laws to further gender equality and won, as data from the latest Women, Business, and the Law (WBL) report reveal. Still, only 14 countries have achieved ...

Don't miss out! When you join WEESA you'll have access to our Monthly Digest and regular learning events. And don't forget to bookmark (our website) -- a one-stop resource for recent and curated WEE-related content covering South Asia and best practices globally. 





Do you have any new reports, blogs, publications, or events you would like to share with our community or a technical question to ask your peers? We welcome member submissions to help us stay informed. Please email us at