Growth and Equal Opportunities for Women (GrOW)

The IDS in the UK, the Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) in India and BRAC’s East Africa Research and Evaluation Unit (REU) in Uganda, along with ActionAid International (AAI) and Oxfam GB, are running one of the projects within the Growth and Equal Opportunities for Women (GrOW) programme.

The 27-month ‘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 more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities.

Research will take place in four countries across two regions: India and Nepal in South Asia, and Rwanda and Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The research addresses the following questions:

  • How do women and families in low-income households balance unpaid care work with income-earning activities? 
  • How, and to what extent, do women’s economic empowerment programmes and policies consider unpaid care tasks?
  • How can these programmes and policies enable women’s participation in paid work, and sustain their incomes, while ensuring good quality childcare for low-income families?

Previous research has focused on the time women spend on care work and other unpaid contributions to the economy. This project seeks to fill research gaps by focusing on the social and economic implications of how care is organised. It will examine how women’s empowerment policies and programmes affect the organisation of care. The aim is to inform policies that consider care arrangements while also increasing women’s participation in the labour force. 

The GrOW programme is jointly funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It funds 11 projects in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The goal of the programme is to support policies and interventions that improve women's livelihoods and contribute to the wellbeing of society more widely.

Read more at the GrOW website

This video from IDRC outlines the GrOW programme and the project on balancing unpaid care work and paid work in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.


International research team

Institute of Development Studies, UK. Led by Deepta Chopra.
Institute of Social Studies Trust, India. Led by Shraddha Chigateri.
BRAC’s East Africa Research and Evaluation Unit, Uganda. Led by Jenipher Torch.

Advocacy Team

ActionAid International: Led by Wangari Kinoti 
OxfamGB: Led by Thalia Kidder
ActionAid Rwanda: Led by James Butare
Oxfam Nepal: Led by Sudha Khadka
Oxfam Tanzania: Led by Jackline Mlay

Preliminary timeline of work

Inception WorkshopApril 2015
Scoping Study on Women’s Economic Empowerment Policies and Programmes in South Asia and sub-Saharan AfricaMarch – August 2015
South Asia Methodology WorkshopJune 2015
Sub-Saharan Africa Methodology WorkshopJune – July 2015
Fieldwork in South Asia and sub-Saharan AfricaAugust 2015  – January 2016
South Asia Analysis WorkshopFebruary – March 2016
Sub-Saharan Africa Analysis WorkshopFebruary – March 2016

Project researchers

Editorial Coordinator
Anjam Singh
Research Associate
Research Analyst
Birasa Nyamulinda
Lecturer at the Institute of Economics at Rwanda University
Communications Officer
Research Fellow
Research Officer
Jackline Mlay
James Butare
Research Associate
Jenipher Torch
Research Fellow
DPhil Student
Micheal Jonga
Research Associate at BRAC Tanzania
Research Analyst
Naomi Shadrack
Neha Uprety
Program Officer
Web Applications Developer
Rasna Dhakal
Project Coordinator
Research Fellow
Srijana Nepal
Project Coordinator
Senior Manager - National Advocacy
Sudha Khadka - no longer working on GrOW
Senior Adviser, Women’s Economic Rights
International Policy Manager For Women’s Rights
Research Fellow