IDS and partner research highlights barriers to women’s empowerment

5 April 2018

IDS and partners took the twin opportunities of International Women’s Day and the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women to share research highlighting key barriers to women and girls being empowered, particularly around unpaid care, decent work and life choices.

Time to care: addressing the burden of unpaid care and providing decent work for all

IDS kicked off its campaign with the launch of a new report entitled No Time to Rest, which was featured on BBC Radio 4 when lead researcher, Deepta Chopra was interviewed on Woman’s Hour. The report was also flagged up in a Devex article asking What it will take to enter a new era of women's economic empowerment?

The report was accompanied by the animation, Time to Care, launched on International Women’s Day, which draws attention to need for a holistic approach to taclking the double-burden women face of unpaid care work and limited opportunities for decent paid work. Achieving nearly 500 views in less than a month since its release, the video has been widely shared on social media and through networks like Bond, the UK network for organisations working on international development.

The report was produced as part of the Balancing unpaid care work and paid work project. The work was carried out at part of the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) program with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the International Development Research Centre, Canada.

View all resources linked to this project.  

What can we do to improve women’s life choices?

At the 62nd Commission for the Status of Women (CSW62), a panel of researchers and NGOs, argued that adequate policies, programmes, and investments in women’s health and education not only lift women’s living standards but also pave a way towards gender equality.

The panel, chaired by Thokozile Ruzvidzo, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Gina Porter, Durham University, Nicola Ansell, Brunel University and Barbara Kalima-Phiri, World Vision International proposed policy ideas to better empower women to make choices about their own lives.

These are part of a wider Impact Initiative campaign on #Policies4 improving women’s life choices. The campaign aimed to demonstrate the multiple and persistent barriers that are unique to women and girls, especially in rural areas, and the policy ideas and innovations that could empower women

The campaign drew on evidence and research funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research that should inform decision-making and interventions.

Read opinion pieces by those who attended: