International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), Korea, June 2017
The 26th International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) Annual Conference was held in Seoul, Korea, 29 June - 1 July 2017, hosted by Sungshin Women’s University. This year, research partners of Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) program also participated in the conference to share their experiences of research and findings aimed to build knowledge about challenges to women’s economic empowerment in low income countries. The GrOW project, ‘Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women’s economic empowerment programmes and policies’ a cross country research from India, Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania made two presentations at the event to share their findings and analysis of how women’s economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate paid work that empowers women and provide more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities.
The first set of presentations were made on day 1 of the conference as a part of a panel titled, 'Towards a Double Boon: Balancing Unpaid Care Work with Paid Work' wherein Mubashira Zaidi and Anweshaa Ghosh from Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi presented research findings from India and Nepal respectively, while Deepta Chopra from Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, presented comparative perspectives on a ‘Double Boon’ from the four countries in the study.
The presentations from the team on the second day were part of an interactive panel ‘Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work: Implications for Women and their Families.’
In both presentations, the project team shared the research findings that were generated from a mixed methods approach comprising of quantitative survey, participatory tools for group discussions, and household case studies. The experiences of women captured through the qualitative data of the research and the case studies generated most interest in the audience comprising of fellow researchers from different contexts. Questions and comments from the audience particularly on women’s time use, the social organization of care helped the research team in clarifying and sharpening their arguments.
SEEP WEE Conference, Thailand, May 2017
The SEEP Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum 2017 was held in Bangkok, Thailand from May 23 -24, 2017. This conference saw participation from multi-stakeholders in the development sector - NGOs, research institutes, networks, funder/donors, government/public sector representatives, private sector and others – from across the globe.The Conference was kick –started by a key – note address from Naila Kabeer who emphasised the need to unpack the understanding of what entails women’s economic empowerment to ensure better policy advocacy and programme deliverables.
Dr. Deepta Chopra from IDS and Ms. Anweshaa Ghosh from ISST jointly presented their findings in two panels from their recently concluded GrOW study, ‘Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women’s economic empowerment programmes and policies’ a cross country research from India, Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania. On Day2 of the Conference, the IDS-ISST team along with another GrOW Project partners in India, IFMR responded to three questions posed to each one of them followed by discussion with the audience. The questions were as follows:
- How does the unequal burden of care (mostly carried by women) impact women's ability to start and grow their businesses and/or seek better paid and quality jobs?
- How can programmatic interventions by non-state actors help to create a balance between paid and unpaid care work – in both formal and informal sectors?
- How can state policies, frameworks and programmes help women to achieve a ‘double boon’ – i.e. decent paid work that is empowering and that provides support for women/s unpaid care work responsibilities?
This style of presentation was well received from the audience as it gave ample time for discussion with the presenters.
On day 3 in the panel ‘Care Work and Women’s Economic Empowerment: Strategies from Burden to Boon’, the IDS and ISST team presented the study findings, using case studies from India and Nepal on the effects on paid work and unpaid work and vice-versa as well as effects of imbalance on women and children.
The presentations on both panels were much appreciated by the audience and many participants doing similar work in India and Nepal also shared their experiences which resonated with the research findings.
The team also attended other panels on Migration, Gender Norms, Financial Inclusion, etc. The Conference was an enriching experience owing to its diverse nature of bringing together researchers and practitioners which led to rich discussions amongst all.