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Gender, Poverty and Demography Research Program

Gender, Poverty Demography banner

This research program examines the dynamics of gender and poverty under four demographic scenarios: 

1. Populations that are growing rapidly due to high fertility.  This has implications for women’s health and labor force participation, as well as for the resources available to invest in children.

2. Populations in which fertility has fallen and dependency ratios are low.  The extent to which women contribute to the potential gains of this “demographic dividend” depend on policies that seek to invest in their human capital and facilitate their labor force participation.


3. Populations that are aging rapidly.  Women are especially vulnerable because they live longer than men, but due to lower labor force participation they tend to have lower lifetime earnings — with implications for their private savings and access to pensions and other sources of old age support linked to earnings.


4. Populations that have lost significant proportions of young adults due to factors such as HIV or sex-selection.  Women may be more affected by factors such as HIV, through their greater involvement in caring for sick young adults and their children.  By contrast, a shortage of adult women due to sex-selection has implications for male wellbeing, especially in old age.


The program is funded by the World Bank and the Government of Norway. Mayra Buvinic, PRMGE and Monica Das Gupta, DECRG, coordinate the effort. Ursula Casabonne, PRMGE, assists with coordination.


The preliminary results of the studies were presented at a workshop on 25 March 2008. 

For more information, please contact Ursula Casabonne:



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