Celebrating International Women’s Day at J-PAL

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Photo: Lisa Corsetto | J-PAL

With the launch of J-PAL’s Gender sector last year, we redoubled our efforts to integrate gender and gender-related issues into our work. On International Women’s Day, we’d like to share some of the gender-related work J-PAL and our affiliated researchers have undertaken over the last year.

Rohini Pande received the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award

Rohini Pande, co-chair of J-PAL’s Political Economy & Governance sector, was named the 2018 recipient of the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award. This is an annual prize awarded to an individual who has furthered the status of women in the economics profession. We spoke with Rohini about the award and its implications >>

A Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations, by Rachel Glennerster, Claire Walsh, and Lucia Diaz-Martin

In 2018 J-PAL published a A Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations. The guide provides practical tools for researchers and practitioners to effectively measure women’s empowerment in their program evaluations. The goal of the guide is to help distill rich details about women’s lives in different contexts into clear and measurable indicators that can be captured through surveys. Watch co-author Rachel Glennerster present on the guide at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC >>

Evaluation of a School-Based Gender Attitude Change Campaign in India, by Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, and Seema Jayachandran

J-PAL affiliated researchers are evaluating a school-based program to change gender attitudes in India. The program, implemented in partnership with the NGO Breakthrough, is intended to improve attitudes, aspirations, and long term fertility behaviors among young people. While post-intervention data collection is still in progress, preliminary results indicate that the program has positively influenced gender attitudes. Read more in The Economist >>

J-PAL launches internal Gender Working Group

With women heading all six regional offices and making up 64 percent of J-PAL staff worldwide, our commitment to advancing women in the workplace is strong. As part of this commitment we launched J-PAL’s internal Gender Working Group in 2018, which includes members from J-PAL offices around the world. The group works to help affirm our commitment to gender equality in our workplace; build staff capacity in gender analysis and gender sensitive external communications; and strengthen the gender lens in the research process.

Synthesizing lessons from rigorous evidence

We are building out J-PAL’s Gender sector and conducting a close review the body of evidence related to gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. The current evidence base includes over 140 gender-related studies conducted by J-PAL affiliated researchers. Many of these studies overlap with several other sectors, such as health, education, and finance. We aim to publish a review of the literature on women’s agency and group-based programs geared towards women’s empowerment in 2020. 

With the launch of the Gender sector and internal Gender Working Group in 2018, J-PAL is furthering our efforts to embed a gender lens into our work and working culture.

Our progress this year illustrates that our commitment to women’s issues and gender equity in development and the economics profession goes far beyond International Women’s Day. We look forward to several exciting projects to advance research and policy outreach for gender equality. Please check back here on the J-PAL blog throughout the year for updates on our work.


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