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Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) – East Africa spurs transformative change to advance gender equality in the world of work, with a focus on gender segregation, unpaid care, and women’s collective agency.

Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps in the world of work are key to achieving gender equality. However, increasing the number of women who work for pay is not enough.

Many women have no choice but to accept vulnerable employment, working in the lowest-earning jobs in the informal sector while doing the majority of unpaid care work at home.

GrOW – East Africa seeks to develop effective approaches and solutions that will empower women and girls to take charge of their own lives and livelihoods. It will consider societal power dynamics that shape women’s choices, the role of social norms, and how gender barriers intersect with the disadvantages arising from other aspects of identity such as race, income levels, and age. 

The five-year program builds on the successful legacy of the recently concluded Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) program. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and IDRC, the second phase of GrOW addresses evidence and research gaps in East Africa to inform policies and interventions.

A program for transformative change

GrOW – East Africa will generate complementary approaches to address persistent economic gender gaps through:

Support for innovative research and synthesis

  • Locally grounded research to test and scale solutions for reducing and redistributing unpaid care and removing the gender segregation of work.
  • Research accompaniment projects to improve understanding and inform the scaling of promising women’s empowerment initiatives, forging partnerships with public and private sector actors.
  • Systematic reviews and state-of-the-art synthesis studies. 

Capacity building

  • Peer-learning events, online learning, and ongoing mentorship to strengthen Southern leadership in identifying lasting solutions. 

Policy engagement

  • Proactive policy engagement to foster research uptake.

GrOW – East Africa will support policymakers, practitioners, and the private sector to use more evidence, tested approaches, and tools to address persistent economic gender gaps. The region’s research capacity for gender equality and evaluative research will also increase.

Explore research projects that we support.


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