What We Do

ICRW believes that women are integral to alleviating global poverty.

In most parts of the world, including impoverished regions, women are a powerful force in their communities. So when they have opportunities to improve their lives, everyone benefits. When they are able to earn an income and control what they do with it, their children are more likely to finish school. Families eat better. They stay healthy. Communities thrive. And in the end, entire nations are in a better position to prosper economically.

However, such gains often are blocked by the realities that many of the world's mothers, sisters and daughters face. A woman cannot harvest the latest crops to feed her family if she is bruised and broken by a violent husband. A girl cannot graduate from high school and participate in her country's workforce if she is married off at 12 and gives birth at 13. A woman cannot start a small business in her village if she does not have access to market information and new technologies.

No woman or girl can reach her full potential if her basic right to a healthy, safe life is not honored. 

ICRW research identifies women's contributions to their communities and the barriers – like HIV, violence, lack of education – that prevent them from being economically stable and able to fully participate in society. We provide a path that creates the conditions under which not just one woman, but millions of women can benefit. We do this by:

  • Designing concrete, evidence-based plans for program designers, donors and policymakers that empower women to control their lives and help shape the future of their communities 
  • Measuring changes in the lives of women and girls – as well as men and boys – to know how best to achieve gender equality
  • Recommending policy priorities that give women opportunities to transform their lives

ICRW talks to women. We help their voices be heard. And we make sure that the unique vulnerabilities they face as well as the unrecognized contributions they make are integrated into efforts to reduce poverty, improve health and create a more equitable world.