IWWAGE generates, synthesises and promotes rigorous evidence on its three thematic areas, namely, Barriers to Work, Quality of Work, and Women’s Agency, using three approaches. These include deepening of the evidence base, testing solutions, and advocating, communicating and developing the capacity of policymakers and influencers involved in accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE).
Our current work involves generating and supporting empirical research to create demand-driven, policy-relevant evidence on WEE. Under this approach, IWWAGE is developing the following analytical pieces:
- Constraints female home-based entrepreneurs face in the cottage and handloom industries;
- Barriers women face in the workforce on account of their social identity and caste group membership;
- Differences in structures and social connections, and how these influence women’s labour supply decisions;
- Perception of safety and how they influence women’s job market decisions;
- Challenges women face in the urban manufacturing (factory) sector;
- Improving productivity of women on the farm;
- Opportunities for women in public employment; and
- Opportunities for women in the gig economy.
IWWAGE is evaluating programme effectiveness to provide cost-effective, scalable solutions to policymakers and implementing agencies so they can advance the agenda of WEE in India. It is also providing technical assistance for integrating gender in WECs, and strengthening women’s digital capacity for information sharing, skilling, and communication.
Our work under this approach comprises:
- An assessment of the government’s 181 women’s helpline and One Stop Crisis Centres;
- An evaluation of the Ujjawala scheme to assess how clean fuel is leading to improvements in women’s time use and productivity;
- An evaluation of Odisha’s skill development mission, and constraints to skilling and retaining female participants;
- Proposed surveys evaluating skilling schemes that can help improve FLFP in select states;
- An evaluation of the gender resource centre pilots in four states;
- An evaluation of implementing a revised gender training curriculum in select locations;
- A process documentation of what it takes to mainstream a gender transformative approach in the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM);
- Testing the application of a model Management Information System (MIS) to track process and output indicators under the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) pilots for lessons and scale up later;
- An evaluation to understand how digital solutions can aid information flows among women’s collectives (Chhattisgarh);
- An evaluation of a government-led smartphone distribution programme in Chhattisgarh to measure its impact on women’s networks, economic activities, social norms and gender attitudes; and
- An evaluation of Haqdarshak, an innovative mobile application in Chhattisgarh that helps connect women Self Help Group (SHG) members to information on government services and entitlements.
Finally, IWWAGE is working towards curating several evidence pieces and promoting the uptake and use of findings and recommendations by policymakers, researchers, civil society organisations and private sector players to champion the cause of WEE in India. Our work under this approach has involved:
- A landscaping of all policies and schemes linked to WEE in India;
- A synthesis of evidence on Early Childhood Development (ECD), the state of Integrated Child Development Scheme in India, and links to maternal employment;
- Mapping of digitisation efforts to support WECs in India;
- A review of the state of gender statistics and data in India to identify gaps;
- State-level analyses of the most recent round of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (2017-18) to assess trends in labour force participation over time, disaggregated by age, employment type, sectors, and geographies;
- Training and capacity development of bureaucrats on issues around gender, including violence against women and girls;
- Partnering with NITI Aayog to develop a gender index for India that can measure the progress of all states and Union Territories (UTs), and result in an action-oriented roadmap for improving gender outcomes in the country; and
- Undertaking an analysis of gender responsive budgeting in India, and providing recommendations to advocate for a macroeconomic financing architecture.
As part of these efforts, IWWAGE is also member of a broad-based committee for gender analysis and budgeting set up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). Partnering with UN Women, MWCD and a few other key ministries have helped IWWAGE to advance the agenda on gender mainstreaming and highlight efforts made by the government and civil society actors at global forums, including the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.