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Initiative promoting women’s economic empowerment expands with two new projects

December 20, 2021
Two new projects are joining an existing research initiative to advance gender equality in the world of work. Implemented in Ethiopia and Tanzania, the projects will study childcare models that work for resource-poor working mothers and the use of government procurement programs to boost women’s economic prospects.
An Ethiopian woman holds a six-month old boy in her arms outside a health centre.
UNICEF Ethiopia

These projects are part of the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) – East Africa initiative. Jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and IDRC, the initiative announced an initial selection of nine projects in March 2021. 

These two additional projects will focus on:  

Reducing women’s care burden through the establishment of childcare centres  

The research team is testing the provision of quality and affordable community-based childcare centres in three urban and peri-urban sites in Ethiopia. The cluster-randomized trial also tests the effectiveness of basic employment and business skills training for mothers and community advocacy to change social norms around gender equality and women’s unpaid care work. The goal is to identify interventions that can be scaled up to improve the economic wellbeing of women and improve their participation in the labour market. 

Led by ChildFund-Ethiopia, in collaboration with Children Believe Fund, Tesfa Berhan Child and Family Development Organization and Addis Ababa University.  

Empowering women-owned businesses through public procurement in Tanzania  

Working closely with government departments and agencies, the private sector and civil society organizations, this research team is evaluating public procurement policies and practices to identify interventions that can increase the low participation of women-owned businesses as government suppliers. The findings will inform evidence-based policy guidelines for the Government of Tanzania to address gender-related barriers in its public procurement system. 

Led by the Economic and Social Research Foundation, in collaboration with Research on Poverty Alleviation and Women and Social Protection. 

GrOW – East Africa aims to support locally grounded action-research to provide evidence, practical tools and guidance that can inform policies and actions to build back a better and more equal world. The goal is to enhance with evidence the effectiveness of policies, programs and interventions that reduce and redistribute unpaid care and promote women's participation in more productive and high-value jobs and sectors in Eastern Africa.