Gender Innovation Lab Federation Causal Evidence Series

9 items available

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This series highlights the work of the five Gender Innovation Labs (GILs) that constitute the GIL Federation, a World Bank community of practice coordinated by the World Bank Gender Group. The briefs include key findings from impact evaluations of development interventions in nine areas (education, labor markets, entrepreneurship, agriculture, land titling, care, social protection, gender-based violence, and adolescent girls). They provide evidence and lessons on how to close gender gaps and foster women’s economic empowerment in these areas. They also serve as an analytical foundation for the World Bank Gender Strategy 2024-2030.

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Supporting Women Entrepreneurs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-01-25) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Entrepreneurship can be a pathway to employment and economic empowerment for women. Over half of the women in developing countries are or aspire to be entrepreneurs, but most of them run subsistence oriented micro-businesses that are not seen as key drivers of innovation and growth. Among formal firms, the share of women-led businesses decreases as the size of the firm increases. Multiple factors—including lack of skills, networks, and access to finance, technology, and markets—constrain women’s decision to become entrepreneurs and affect their choices concerning which sector to enter, how much to put into their firms, and which business practices and technology to adopt. Contextual factors, such as social norms, access to childcare, and risk of gender-based violence, also contribute to the gender gap in firm performance documented by the Africa GIL3 and the EAP GIL. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence around the world to understand what works, and what does not, in addressing the differential constraints restricting the growth of women-led firms. This note presents evidence on five key findings.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Empowering Adolescent Girls
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Adolescent girls face multiple challenges that restrict their horizons. They have to make decisions about employment and fertility at an early age with limited access to formal education and under restrictive social norms. Domestic responsibilities limit their time in school and educational achievement, in turn curtailing their ability to enter the labor force. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence on what works, and what does not, in empowering adolescent girls. This note presents evidence on five key findings.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Women’s Land Titling
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Land is a key productive asset for rural households. Property rights play a critical role in determining who can own and access this fundamental resource. More than 70 percent of women across 53 developing countries do not own any land. Customary norms confer disproportionately weaker land rights to women, feeding into a cycle that limits their access to credit and other economic opportunities. Empowering women through stronger land rights can play a central role in the process of economic development. However, overturning existing cultural norms and power structures in the context of traditional (patriarchal) customary land tenure systems can be challenging. There are also concerns that such policy efforts could formalize, even exacerbate, existing gender gaps in land rights. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence around the world to understand what works, and what does not, in increasing access to land titles for women and its effects on women’s empowerment. This note presents evidence on three key findings.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Access to and Uptake of Childcare Services
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Unpaid care work and the lack of access to affordable childcare constitute key barriers to women’s participation in labor markets. The International Labour Organization estimates that, in 2018, 647 million working-age adults were hindered from entering the workforce due to family responsibilities—94 percent of whom were women. In that year, women’s unpaid care work amounted to three-quarters of total unpaid care work, with an estimated value of 9 percent of global GDP. A pilot study by the MNA GIL in Egypt finds that, on average, mothers spent 11 hours per day on childcare and seven hours per day doing household chores. The EAP GIL reviewed causal evidence on the effects of childcare interventions on maternal labor market engagement in low and middle-income countries and found positive impacts for 21 out of the 22 studies considered.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Improving Education Outcomes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Significant progress has been made in closing gender gaps in primary and secondary enrollment rates worldwide. However, girls still have lower expected years of schooling than boys in some regions, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and boys have worse educational outcomes than girls in other countries, most notably in Latin America and the Caribbean. Barriers to the continuation of schooling for girls are linked to child marriage, early pregnancies, sexual harassment, and social norms around girls’ education. The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted schooling of both girls and boys. The transition to remote learning hurt girls who often have fewer technical skills and less access to the internet than boys. In other cases, boys had higher economic opportunities than girls and were more likely to drop out from school in response to the economic stress generated by the pandemic. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence around the world to understand what works, and what does not, in narrowing gender gaps in education.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Facilitating Labor Markets
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Significant gender gaps in labor force participation persist around the world. When women do work, they are much more likely than men to engage in vulnerable employment with lower earnings and worse working conditions. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered larger losses in employment for women than for men across the globe. Several factors constrain women’s labor force participation and employment outcomes. On the supply side, time and mobility constraints and differences in endowments (skills, assets, and networks) limit women’s labor force participation and wages. On the demand side, discrimination in hiring and retention, lack of jobs with convenient features (childcare, maternity leave, flexible schedules), and skills mismatch are key constraints. All these are combined with contextual factors, including social and cultural norms, that restrict women’s labor force participation. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence around the world to understand what works, and what does not, in supporting women’s labor market participation. This note presents evidence on seven key findings.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Social Protection
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Several circumstances make women more vulnerable to economic shocks than men. Women are more likely than men to be out of the labor force due to care responsibilities. When they work, women are more likely to have low-paying jobs in the informal sector. Moreover, women have lower access to financial services and other strategies to mitigate shocks. Social protection systems can enable women to cope with and adapt to economic shocks. In particular, adaptive social protection systems can help identify the differential needs of women to prepare support mechanisms and build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households before, during, and after large shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic occur. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence around the world to understand what works, and what does not, in supporting women with social protection interventions. This note presents evidence on four key findings based on impact evaluations.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Agriculture
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Gender productivity gaps in agriculture are large around the world, even though women comprise 40–50 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. Gender differences in agricultural productivity can be as high as 66 percent and can cost countries up to $105 million annually. Women farmers tend to produce lower output per unit of land than men farmers because of gender-specific constraints, such as unequal access to farm labor, agricultural inputs, lower literacy, childcare responsibilities, limited involvement in cash crop production, and lower participation in farmers’ groups. Women farmers are concentrated in the lower levels of agricultural value chains and are less likely to be active in commercial farming than men. Restrictive gender norms underlie occupational sex segregation in agriculture, leading women to concentrate in low-value crops.
  • Publication
    Policy Lessons on Reducing Gender-based Violence
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023) Halim, Daniel; Ubfal, Diego; Wangchuk, Rigzom
    Gender-based violence (GBV) affects more than one in three women over the course of their lifetimes, regardless of social or economic boundaries. Violence against women and girls takes a significant toll on survivors and their families and exacts heavy social and economic costs. In some countries, violence against women is estimated to cost up to 3.7 percent of GDP— more than double of what most governments spend on education. Lockdowns and reduced mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic led to sharp increases in violence against women and girls. The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence across the world to understand what works, and what does not, in reducing GBV. This note presents evidence on four key findings based on impact evaluations from three regions.