Economic Opportunity & Security

How Do We Define Economic Empowerment?

Surfacing the power and potential of women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities and building the enabling environment for better gender-responsive policies to address structural and systemic barriers, foster more equitable economic outcomes, and create more inclusive, just, and sustainable economies.

Our Solution

We shed light on the social and environmental factors that limit the power and agency of women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities, preventing them from achieving well-being for themselves, their families, communities, and countries. ICRW conducts rigorous research to expand understanding of women’s economic contributions and the full range of structural (political, economic, cultural, and social) factors that prevent them from participating in their communities on an equal footing with men, reaching their full potential, and living their lives with ease.

We support programs, services, institutions, and policies to address barriers and become more gender equitable. We also leverage our networks, platforms, and coalitions to advocate for a holistic rights- and justice-based approach to the economic well-being of women and gender-marginalized people, and for models to to mitigate any unintended consequences of interventions to ensure successful, sustained change.

Examples of Our Work

REBUILD: COVID-19 & Women in the Informal Economy (Kenya, Uganda, and India)

REBUILD: COVID-19 & Women in the Informal Economy (Kenya, Uganda, and India)

ICRW examined the social and economic impact of policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on women working in the informal sector in urban Kenya, Uganda, and India. We conducted primary and secondary research to understand the extent to which welfare responses have worked for these women, and the mechanisms by which the pandemic exacerbated existing vulnerabilities to job and income loss, gender-based violence, and violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights. We produced a series of recommendations and an actionable policy agenda to inform and support key stakeholders and decision-makers to better meet the needs of informal women workers.

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WeProsper: a Global Coalition for Women's Economic Empowerment

WeProsper: a Global Coalition for Women's Economic Empowerment

WeProsper is a global coalition led by ICRW that advocates for women's economic empowerment. Through strategic advocacy, the coalition works to advance gender equality, overcome structural barriers, and amplify the voice and power of women and girls as economic actors. Comprising over 65 organizations worldwide, WeProsper aims to create policy changes at the local, regional, and global levels.

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Global Development Alliance on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Agriculture (Colombia, Peru, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam)

Global Development Alliance on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Agriculture (Colombia, Peru, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam)

ICRW serves as a technical advisor to a Global Development Alliance between USAID and PepsiCo, led by Resonance Global, which aims to understand the barriers to empowerment and greater participation of women in the PepsiCo supply chain in Pakistan, India, Colombia and Vietnam. ICRW explores women’s roles, aspirations and challenges in potato farming and, together with partners, designs and delivers targeted, innovative interventions to support these women.



Meet our Economic Empowerment Experts

Aditi Vyas

Assistant Director, Gender, Youth, and Development

Chryspin Afifu

Gender and WEE Specialist

Kirabo Suubi

Gender Economist

Serah Nduta Njenga

Gender and Health Technical Specialist

Want to connect with one of our economic experts or partner with us on a project?

Get In Touch

Our Recent Work on Economic Empowerment

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Social Protection in Kenya: Disruptions and Opportunities for Women Working in the Informal Sector

Social protection is central in accelerating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and affirming the principle of “leave no one behind” (Koehler, 2021). Global evidence shows that social protection…
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Transforming Work for Women in the Informal Economy: Gaps and Opportunities for Social Protection In Uganda

This paper outlines the role of social protection mechanisms in safeguarding individuals’ livelihoods while also providing safety nets necessary to help them cope with or respond to risks, emergencies, or…
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WeProsper Research Salon Brief: Gender Data

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Catalyzing Private Sector Investment in Women’s Economic Empowerment

Today, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) announced a new project that will help corporate programs achieve greater levels of impact – for their beneficiaries and for their…
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Despite Uneven Progress, Women Remain the Promise of Economic Change

The business case for investing in the world’s women is strong, and data illustrate the powerful market potential of women living in low- and middle-income countries. Yet despite such evidence,…
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Time to Deliver on Women’s Economic Empowerment: From W7 Recommendations to G7 Action

By Kelsey Harris Each year, the world’s seven largest economies, also known as the group of seven (G7), meet to coordinate solutions to major global issues. Prior to the G7…