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Who We Are

Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) aims to build on existing research and generate new evidence to inform and facilitate the agenda of women’s economic empowerment. IWWAGE is an initiative of LEAD, an action-oriented research centre of IFMR Society (a not for profit society registered under the Societies Act). LEAD has strategic oversight and brand support from Krea University (sponsored by IFMR Society) to enable synergies between academia and the research centre. IWWAGE is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What We Do

Global evidence shows that women make a significant contribution to the economy, yet they continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation. Despite economic growth, decline in fertility rates of women, and rise in schooling and improved learning outcomes for girls, Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) levels in India remain alarmingly low, with only one out of every five women of working age in the work force. Women’s access to resources, assets and other rights and entitlements also continues to remain low, leading to limited to no impacts on other social development outcomes. Economic empowerment of women is fundamental to achieving gender equality and inclusive growth. IWWAGE was set up to address this challenge.

It attempts to shift the evidence base from “How” to “What Works” to improve women’s participation in economic activities by addressing barriers to women’s work, facilitating women’s access to decent work and economic resources, and enhancing women’s agency by leveraging the transformative potential of women’s empowerment collectives.

Accordingly, IWWAGE focuses on three thematic areas:

  • Barriers to Work
  • Quality of Work
  • Women’s Agency

Our core

Areas of Work

RESEARCH
& ANALYSIS

POLICY ENGAGEMENT
& ADVOCACY

BUILDING & TESTING
INTERVENTIONS

Meet the Team

Our team includes economists, gender experts, development practitioners, and policy experts who come with extensive experience of working on women’s empowerment.

Head, IWWAGE
Soumya Kapoor Mehta
Head, IWWAGE

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Principal Economist
Sona Mitra
Principal Economist

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Business Manager
Neeraj Upadhyay
Business Manager

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Senior Research Fellow
Ruchika Chaudhary
Senior Research Fellow

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Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager
Kanika Kingra
Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager

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Senior Administrative Manager
Preeti Bawa
Senior Administrative Manager

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Research Associate
Hiya Singh Rajput
Research Associate

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Communication Manager
Atiya Anis
Communication Manager

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Research Associate
Ayushi Gupta
Research Associate

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Project Associate
Ankita Sharma
Project Associate

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Research Manager
Kaliat Ammu Sanyal
Research Manager

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Team Lead
Ramesh Sinha
Team Lead

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Research Associate
Nidhi Gyan Pandey
Research Associate

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Technical Expert-State Coordination
Prita Das Gupta
Technical Expert-State Coordination

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Senior Research Associate
Rhitabrita Mukherjee
Senior Research Associate

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Senior Policy and Program Manager
Moumita Sarkar
Senior Policy and Program Manager

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