Women’s economic empowerment programmes: towards a ‘double boon’ instead of drudgery and depletion

Recent research carried out in four countries (India, Nepal, Tanzania and Rwanda) under the framework of the Growth and Equal Opportunities for Women (GrOW) programme has highlighted the drudgery of both paid work and unpaid care work faced by women in poor families, leading to the depletion of their bodies and minds, and those of their families. As a result, women are often forced into poorly paid, irregular and gruelling paid work. The research points to the need for women’s economic empowerment programmes and policies to make a concerted effort to consider the lived realities of women and their juggling of both paid work and unpaid care work.

A key conclusion of this mixed-methods study is that women in poor families welcome the chance to earn any kind of income. (...)