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enGENDER IMPACT: Increasing Economic Opportunities

Dam under construction in Sri Lanka

Globally, women represent about half the world’s population, but only 41 percent of the total formal sector workforce. Trends suggest that gains in women’s labor force participation worldwide over the last few decades have been small and slow, still hovering around 51 percent globally, and as low as 21 percent in the Middle East and North Africa. Moreover, labor force participation rates by themselves mask important differences in how and when women and men participate in the world of work.

Gender gaps persist in terms of the types of jobs that women and men have, how much they are paid, and the extent of unpaid work, with significant regional variation as well. Whether we consider entrepreneurs, employees, or farmers, there are many constraints to women’s work. As a result, interventions can take many different approaches to remove constraints and accelerate women’s ability to participate and succeed in the world of work—including in industries and occupations that are dominated by men.

The World Bank Group has long been a leader in innovation and evaluation related to women’s work and earnings. This includes, among many other things, private sector work by the International Finance Corporation to support women in business, and the World Bank’s work on social protection and labor and in strengthening adolescent girls’ transition from school to work.

Relevant outcomes: income; wages; earnings; consumption; labor force participation; job performance; productivity; firm growth; access to credit, land, savings and property; savings; entrepreneurship; investment

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Learn more about the World Bank's work to promote gender equality in developing countries.

IE Title & Author(s) Country Gender Outcome(s) Intervention Category
5 Years in Juntos: New Evidence on the Program's Short and Long-Term Impacts
Perova & Vakis
Peru Consumption, income, use of healthcare services, child labor, school enrollment, school attendance Cash Transfer
AIDS treatment and intrahousehold resource allocation: Children's nutrition andschooling in Kenya
Zivin, et al.
Kenya Reproductive Health, school attendance, labor force participation, nutrition Antiretroviral Treatment
Are Cash Transfers Made to Women Spent Like Other Sources of Income?
Schady & Rosero
Ecuador Nutrition, intrahousehold bargaining, consumption Cash Transfer
Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns
De Mel, et al.
Sri Lanka Women's labor force participation, productivity, access to credit Cash Transfer
Assisting the Transition from Workfare to Work: A Randomized Experiment
Galasso, et al.
Argentina Female labor force participation, wages Cash Transfer, Training
Building Women's Economic and Social Empowerment Through Enterprise An Experimental Assessment of the Women's Income Generating Support (WINGS) Program in Uganda
Blattman, et al.
Uganda Gender disaggregated earnings, savings, consumption, psychological agency, domestic violence Cash Transfer
Business Training and Female Enterprise Start-up, Growth, and Dynamics Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka
De Mel, et al.
Sri Lanka Women's vocational knowledge and skills, job performance, property, access to credit, earnings Training
Can Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Serve as Safety Nets in Keeping Children at School and From Working when Exposed to Shocks?
De Janvry, et al.
Mexico Gender disaggregated school enrollment, child labor Cash Transfer
Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Macours, et al.
Nicaragua Children's Nutrition, access to healthcare, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, Women's labor force participation, psychological agency Cash Transfer
Causal effect of health on labor market outcomes: Evidence from a random assignment iron supplementation intervention
Thomas, et al.
Indonesia Gender disaggregated nutrition, psychological agency, labor force participation, productivity Iron Supplements
Changing Households' Investment and Aspirations through Social Interactions: Evidence from a randomized transfer program
Macours & Vakis
Nicaragua Women's Aspirations, motivation, school attendance, income, property Cash Transfer
Combining Longitudinal Household and Community Surveys for Evaluation of Social Transfers: infrastructure rehabilitation projects in rural Georgia
Lokshin & Yemtsov
Georgia Female labor force participation, school enrollment, school attendance, health risks Infrastructure Projects
Community-Based Conditional Cash Transfers in Tanzania : Results from a Randomized Trial
Evans, et al.
Tanzania Health, school attendance, literary and completion, expenditure, assets and savings, community cohesion Community-based CCT
Community-Based Reintegration in Aceh: Assessing the Impacts of BRA-KDP
Barron, et al.
Indonesia Income, participation and voice in the community Community Driven Development
Community-Driven Reconstruction in Lofa County Impact Assessment
Fearon, et al.
Liberia Participation and voice in community, income Community Driven Development
Community Programs and Women's Participation: The Chinese Experience
Coady, et al.
China Gender disaggregated income, aspirations Collective Action
Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty
Skoufias & Di Maro
Mexico Gender disaggregated labor force participation, income Cash Transfer
Coping with the "Coffee Crisis" in Central America: The Role of the Nicaraguan Red de Proteccion Social
Nicaragua Gender disaggregated consumption, labor force participation Cash Transfer
Credit Constraints, Occupational Choice and the Process of Development: Long Run Evidence from Cash Transfers in Uganda
Blattman, et al.
Uganda Vocational knowledge or skills, labor force participation, productivity, participation or voice in community Cash Transfer
Demand versus Returns? Pro-Poor Targeting of Business Grants and Vocational Skills Training
Macours, et al.
Nicaragua Female income, labor force participation, wages, access to credit Training, Cash Transfer
Does a Picture Paint a Thousand Words? Evidence from a Microcredit Marketing Experiment
Gine, et al.
Pakistan Gender disaggregated access to credit, psychological agency Microfinance, information intervention
Does Community Driven Development Work? Evidence from Senegal
Arcand & Bassole
Senegal Health of women, nutrition, consumption, participation or having a voice in the community Community Driven Development
Does Demand or Supply Constrain Investments in Education? Evidence from Garment Sector Jobs in Bangladesh
Health & Mobarak
Bangladesh Female school attendance, school enrollment Factories
Does it pay firms to register for taxes? The Impact of formality on firm profitability
Mckenzie, et al.
Bolivia Gender disaggregated productivity Firm Formalization
Does Management Matter? Evidence from India
Bloom, et al.
India Productivity of male family members Business Training
Economic Impacts of Professional Training in the Informal Sector: The Case of the Labor Force Training Program in Cote d'Ivoire
Verner & Verner
Cote d'Ivoire Gender disaggregated productivity Vocational Training
Employment Generation In Rural Africa: Mid-Term Results from an Experimental Evaluation of the Youth Opportunities Program in Northern Uganda
Blattman, et al.
Uganda Gender disaggregated income, consumption, labor force participation, participation or voice in community, psychological agency Cash Transfer
Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru
Peru Property, labor force participation Land Titling
Entrepreneurship Training and Self-Employment among University Graduates Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Tunisia
Premand, et al.
Tunisia Gender disaggregated outcomes: entrepreneurship, labor force participation, vocational knowledge or skills, access to credit, aspirations, non-cognitive skills Training
Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda
Ali, et al.
Rwanda Women's property, investment Land Rights
Estimating the Benefit Incidence of an Antipoverty Program by Propensity Score Matching
Jalan & Ravallion
Argentina Gender disaggregated income Cash Transfer
From the Group Up: Impacts of a Pro-Poor Community Driven Development Project in Nigeria
Nkonya, et al.
Nigeria Property, productivity, participation or voice in community Agricultural Development
Gender Bias in Intrahousehold Allocation: Evidence from an Unintentional Experiment
Braido, et al.
Brazil Consumption, intrahousehold decision-making Cash Transfer
Group Diversity and the Impacts on Female Participants: A Quasi-Experimental Study of Income Generating Networks in India
India Savings, access to credit, intrahousehold decision making Community Development
Group versus Individual Liability: Long Term Evidence from Philippine Microcredit Lending Groups
Gine & Karlan
Philippines Women's access to credit Microfinance
Harnessing Emotional Connections to Improve Financial Decisions: Evaluating the Impact of Financial Education in Mainstream Media
Berg & Zia
South Africa Gender disaggregated access to credit, savings Information Intervention
Impact of Social Fund on the Welfare of Rural Households: Evidence from Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund
Parajuli, et al.
Nepal Participation or voice in the community, consumption Community Driven Development
Impacts of an Early Stage Education Intervention on Students' Learning Achievement: Evidence from the Philippines
Yamauchi , et al.
Philippines Gender disaggregated outcomes: School attainment, wages, migration Education
Impacts of Land Certification on Tenure Security, Investment, and Land Market Participation: Evidence from Ethiopia
Deininger, et al.
Ethiopia Women's owned property, investment Land Titling
Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda
Uganda Gender disaggregated nutrition, income Early Childhood Development, Deworming
Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidence from Malawi
Gine & Yang
Malawi Gender disaggregated access to credit Credit and insurance
Investing Cash Transfers to Raise Long Term Living Standards
Gertler, et al.
Mexico Investment, consumption Cash Transfer
Labor Market Returns to Early Childhood Stimulation: a 20-Year Follow-up to the Jamaica Study
Gertler, et al.
Jamaica Gender disaggregated income, labor force participation, school attainment, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills Preschool
Measuring the Effect of a Community-level Program on Women's Empowerment Outcomes: Evidence from India
Kandpal, et al.
India Female labor force participation, intrahousehold bargaining, participation or voice in community Community Development
Money or ideas ? A field experiment on constraints to entrepreneurship in rural Pakistan
Giné & Mansuri
Pakistan Employment, business operations, Expenditures and Assets, Outlook on Life, Decision-Making Microfinance and business training
One-Time Transfers of Cash or Capital Have Long-Lasting Effects on Microenterprises in Sri Lanka
De Mel, et al.
Sri Lanka Productivity, intrahousehold decision making Cash Transfer
Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?
Cole, et al.
Indonesia Gender disaggregated access to credit, savings Training
Reintegrating and Employing High Risk Youth in Liberia: Lessons from a randomized evaluation of a Landmine Action an agricultural training program for ex-combatants
Blattman & Annan
Liberia Labor force participation, participation or voice in the community Training
Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment
De Mel, et al.
Sri Lanka Gender disaggregated productivity Cash Transfer
Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas
Galasso & Ravallion
Argentina Female labor force participation, income Cash Transfer
Soft Skills or Hard Cash? The Impact of Training and Wage Subsidy Programs on Female Youth Employment in Jordan
Groh, et al.
Jordan Female labor force participation, non-cognitive skills, aspirations, psychological agency Training, Cash Transfer
Split Decisions: Family Finance When a Policy Discontinuity Allocates Overseas Work
Clemens & Tiongson
Philippines Gender Disaggregated: consumption, access to healthcare, property, savings, school performance, intrahousehold bargaining Migration Permits
Testing information constraints on India's largest antipoverty program
Ravallion, et al.
India Knowledge about rights, employment Information Campaign
The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya
Thirumurthy, et al.
Kenya Reproductive health, female labor force participation Antiretroviral Treatment
The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption in Colombia
Attanasio & Mesnard
Colombia Consumption, nutrition after transfers to a female Cash Transfer
The Impact of Access to Free Childcare on Women's Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Low-income Neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro
Paes de Barros, et al.
Brazil Women's labor force participation Preschool
The Impact of an Adolescent Girls Employment Program
Adoho, et al.
Liberia Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes, income, wages, earnings, empolyment, savings, aspirations, gender norms Training
The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program and its Linkages
Gilligan, et al.
Ethiopia Gender disaggregated nutrition, access to credit, employment Cash Transfers
The Impact of Providing Psycho-Social Support to Indigent Families and Increasing their Access to Social Services: Evaluating Chile Solidario
Carneiro, et al.
Chile Gender disaggregated labor force participation, psychological agency Social Support
The Impact of Vocational Training for the Unemployed: Experimental Evidence from Turkey
Hirshleifer, et al.
Turkey Labor force participation, income Training
The Impacts of Cash and In-Kind Transfers on Consumption and Labor Supply
Skoufias, et al.
Mexico Gender disaggregated productivity, consumption Cash Transfer
The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program
Gibson, et al.
Tonga Gender disaggregated income, property, nutrition, labor force participation Migration
The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh
Khandker, et al.
Bangladesh Gender disaggregated labor force participation, school attendance Infrastructure
Time Allocation in Rural Households: The Indirect Effects of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs
Pakistan Gender norms, labor force participation Cash Transfer
Two-name Land Use Certificates and Gender Inequality: An Empirical Investigation for Vietnam
Trung, et al.
Vietnam Gender disaggregated income, investment, labor force participation, intrahousehold bargaining Land Titling
Vocational Education Voucher Delivery and Labor Market Returns: A Randomized Evaluation Among Kenyan Youth
Hicks, et al.
Kenya Gender disaggregated vocational training, gender norms Training
Welfare impacts of rural electrification: evidence from Vietnam
Khandker, et al.
Vietnam Gender disaggregated school attendance, gender disaggregated property Infrastructure
What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment
Bertrand, et al.
South Africa Gender disaggregated access to credit Microfinance
When is Capital Enough to Get Female Enterprises Growing? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ghana
Woodruff, et al.
Ghana Gender disaggregated productivity, consumption Cash Transfer
Who You Train Matters Identifying Complementary Effects of Financial Education on Migrant Households
Doi, et al.
Indonesia Female vocational knowledge or skills, access to credit Training
Why is Voluntary Financial Education So Unpopular? Experimental Evidence from Mexico
Bruhn, et al.
Mexico Access to credit, savings Financial Literacy Training
Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa (updated results from 2012 study)
Bandiera, et al.
Uganda Girls vocational knowledge or skills, labor force participation, psychological agency, reproductive health Training, Cash Transfer
Women's Inheritance Rights and Intergenerational Transmission of Resources in India
Deininger, et al.
India Women's owned property, gender disaggregated school attainment Legal Reform

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