Gender norms and biases continue to constrain human potential around the world. J-PAL’s Gender sector produces cross-cutting insights on promoting gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment, and on how norms related to gender affect the outcomes of social programs.

In addition to supporting policymakers in applying evidence from randomized evaluations to their work, sector chairs and staff write policy insights that synthesize general lessons emerging from the research and condense results from evaluations in policy publications and evaluation summaries. The Gender sector also funds new research through the Gender and Economic Agency Initiative

A smiling woman stands in the center of a group of other women.
Policy Publication

Enhancing Women’s Agency: Cross-Cutting Lessons From Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Studies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This Evidence Review highlights key research findings on evidence that cuts across multiple domains of women’s agency and identifies research questions that remain to be answered.

A woman stands in the middle of a circle of women.

What Works to Enhance Women’s Agency

This literature review draws from 160 randomized and natural experiments in low and middle-income countries to distill key lessons on what we know about supporting women’s agency based on quantitative evidence. 

Women having a union meeting

Developing capacities for the generation and use of evidence in the promotion of women's agency in Central America

Organizations in Central America increasingly recognize the importance of improving women’s agency by implementing programs and initiatives to support this goal. As part of J-PAL Latin America and the Caribbean’s (LAC) efforts to strengthen capacities and share evidence, in January 2023, we started...

Women wearing colorful clothes carry goods in baskets on their heads in a market in Accra, Ghana.

Gender norms and women's work: Reflecting on current evidence and policy opportunities

While the challenges women face in entering and remaining in the labor market are not new, they have worsened in the wake of the pandemic. One of the barriers to women’s economic empowerment and labor market participation is restrictive gender norms relating to the acceptability of women working...

A woman harvesting peas

Launching a practical guide to measuring women's and girls’ empowerment

J-PAL’s newest research resource, A Practical Guide to Measuring Women's and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations, gathers insights from the experiences of J-PAL affiliated researchers around the world and offers practical tips for how to measure women's and girls’ empowerment in impact...

Women attend a community outreach session on women's help desks.

Increasing Access to Security and Justice through Women's Help Desks in Police Stations in India

Researchers are employing an RCT to evaluate whether the establishment of police station-level Women’s Help Desks (WHDs), as well as the deployment of additional female personnel to these WHDs, improves the responsiveness of frontline officers to women, as well as levels of crime and crime reporting...

Woman with three children in childcare center in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Policy Insight

Access to childcare to improve women’s economic empowerment

Access to childcare can increase women’s employment outcomes by enabling their labor force participation, shift to more desirable work, or increase the productivity in their businesses. However, in cases where there are additional barriers to working outside the home, childcare may not be sufficient...

Three Female Students With Teacher Building Robot Vehicle In After School Computer Coding Class
Policy Insight

Advancing women’s representation and opportunities in STEM fields through exposure to role models

In high-income countries, exposure to women role models often positively impacts women students’ participation and educational performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, by improving students’ perceptions and aspirations of having STEM careers. 

Sector Chairs

Co-Chair, Gender

Associate Professor

Northwestern University

Headshot of Seema Jayachandran

Co-Chair, Gender

Professor of Economics and Public Affairs

Princeton University

Sector Contacts

Headshot of Megan Morris

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global