Policy Insights in Gender

J-PAL’s Gender sector focuses on reducing gender inequality, promoting women and girls’ empowerment, and understanding how social norms related to gender affect the outcomes of development programs. Our policy insights summarize the general lessons emerging from randomized evaluations on the impact of gender quotas on women’s political representation and service delivery and the impact of school participation interventions on girls’ school enrollment and attendance.
Seema Jayachandran (Northwestern University), Gender Chair
woman working on a loom
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Designing financial services and social protection programs to enhance women’s economic empowerment

Last updated: February 2021
Providing women in low- and middle-income countries with financial resources or financial services did not consistently lead to economic empowerment if women were unable to maintain control over the use of funds within their households. Financial inclusion and social protection programs should...

Biomass cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution and fuel use

Last updated: October 2020
Despite their positive results in the lab, biomass cookstoves designed to reduce smoke exposure and/or increase fuel efficiency did not substantially improve health in several randomized evaluations in the real world. Many people did not want to buy or maintain them, did not use them enough, and...

Reducing adolescent pregnancy by increasing educational and economic opportunities in low- and middle-income countries

Last updated: January 2019
Interventions that changed perceptions about girls’ abilities and opportunities or increased the educational and economic opportunities available to them encouraged girls and young women to delay pregnancy.

Improving women’s representation in politics through gender quotas

Last updated: April 2018
Gender quotas for women in local government bodies can improve women’s representation in politics, increase provision of public services, and improve perceptions of women as leaders.

Student Participation Despite dramatic increases in primary school enrollment worldwide, pockets of low enrollment remain, and millions of children who are enrolled are not attending regularly. Strategies that decrease the monetary or non-monetary costs of school, or increase the perceived benefits of school participation, have been found to be particularly effective.

Increasing student enrollment and attendance: impacts by gender

Last updated: February 2019
Reducing the costs and increasing the perceived benefits of education increase student participation for both boys and girls, and successful programs tend to help the gender with the lowest initial attendance most.

Sector Chairs

Headshot of Seema Jayachandran

Chair, Gender

Professor of Economics

Northwestern University

Sector Contacts

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Joy Kiiru

Policy and Research Advisor, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Megan Morris

Senior Policy Associate , J-PAL Global

Headshot of Yvette Ramirez

Policy Manager , J-PAL Global

Associate Director of Policy, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Diana Warira

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global