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Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Deepta is a feminist social scientist working on women’s empowerment and gendered politics of policy processes. Her research interests primarily focus on women’s struggles, the empowerment of women and girls, and its core links with their paid work and unpaid care work.

She is a dynamic project leader who has developed, fund-raised for, and implemented several research projects on social protection and gendered political economy analysis of women’s struggles and programmes and policies for their empowerment.

Deepta is currently leading IDS’ work on understanding and supporting women’s struggles with an emphasis on strategies against backlash. She has extensive experience in political economy analysis, and has worked intensively on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and the Food Rights Act in India. She works closely with state and non-state partners in South Asia, and is known for her excellent organizational and managerial capabilities.

Deepta has had high impact in the policy and practice of international development, especially in relation to her work on the care economy, women led movements, and MGNREGA. She is an expert on mixed methods research design and qualitative methodologies, and aligns herself closely with issues of power and participation, citizen engagement and governance.

Deepta is an enthusiastic and popular teacher; she was the Director of Doctoral Studies at IDS and convened the MA Gender and Development programme. She currently teaches on the MA Gender and Development, the MA Governance and Development and the MA Poverty and Development, through a range of relevant lectures and supervision.

Deepta has supervised the following PhD scholars:

Ayesha Khan whose PhD thesis was titled ‘Feminist Actors, Political Voice and Gender Policies in Pakistan’.

Betty Akyeampong whose PhD was titled ‘Implementing social protection in competitive political settlements: a case study of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP) in Ghana’.

Eric Kasper, whose PhD thesis was titled: ‘Nurturing Emergent Agency: Networks and Dynamics of Complex Social Change Processes in Raipur, India’.

Susana Araujo whose PhD thesis was titled ‘The Dynamics of Social Movements and Countermovements around Gender Equality in Peru’.

Deepta is currently supervising the following PhD scholars:

Alexandra Obeng—Gyaaba whose PhD thesis is titled ‘Women and Political Appointment: A Study of the Local Government of Ghana’.

Maha Gaad whose PhD looks at perceptions of the empowerment of women among beneficiaries, implementing NGOs and donors of ’empowerment programmes’ in order to analyse whether or not any gaps exist in the understanding of empowerment between these groups.

Meenakshi Krishnan whose PhD thesis is titled ‘The Ethics of Mainstreaming Care: A Study of the Maternity Benefit Policy in India’.

Mireille Widmer whose PhD thesis is titled ‘Influencing policing: A social network analysis of the governance of security in a secondary city in Nepal’

Salonie Muralidhara Hiriyur whose work looks at the emerging digital economy and gig work, and how this has changed the way informal women workers are able to engage with the labour market in India.


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Pakistan Hub

The Pakistan Hub provides focus in a country at the leading edge of development thinking and practice and is centered on a long-term partnership between IDS and the highly regarded Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). It recognises that...


Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER)

ActionAid is implementing the Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) project, a five-year initiative (2016-2020) supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands under the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) 2 funding mechanism. The...


Balancing unpaid care work and paid work

The 'Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women's economic empowerment programmes and policies' project aims to create knowledge about how women's economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate paid work that empowers women and provides...




Assessing Unpaid Care Work: A Participatory Toolkit


This is a participatory toolkit for understanding unpaid care work and its distribution within local communities and families. Together, these tools provide a way of ascertaining and capturing research participants’ understanding of women’s unpaid care work – giving special attention to...

Deepta Chopra
Deepta Chopra & 2 others

8 March 2021

Deepta Chopra’s recent work