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Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) – Effects of Patterns of Growth on Women’s Economic Empowerment

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have created the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) research initiative to generate new research evidence and fill critical knowledge gaps to better understand the economic participation of women in low-income countries.

Focusing on sub-Sahara and South Asia, the initiative aims to draw together leading researchers from across the world to deliver robust evidence with the capacity to shape policies and programs to deliver better development outcomes for women, economies, and societies more broadly. It will generate new evidence on women’s economic empowerment, gender equality and growth in low-income countries.

The GrOW initiative has three identified research themes:

Theme 1: What are the nature and magnitude of barriers to women’s economic empowerment and to closing gender gaps in earnings and productivity? How can these barriers be overcome?
Theme 2: How do specific patterns of economic growth and types of structural change affect women’s economic empowerment?
Theme 3: How does women’s economic empowerment affect economic growth?

The current call will address the second theme by providing funding for research which examines the effect thatspecific patterns of growth have on women’s economic empowerment. The research should also look at interventions and public polices which can enable positive growth of women’s empowerment and minimize the negative effects.

Although the focus of the GrOW initiative is on low-income countries, this call requires research that examines economic growth in both low and middle income countries, and, for example in countries that have made rapid growth or those that have had spurts of growth in fragile or conflict affected contexts.

The following broad group of research questions should be addressed within the research, although researchers may propose further questions within the theme:

  • Historical experiences of countries with sustained growth episodes and the impact this has had on gender based constraints on economic activities in these periods.
  • Effect of the structure of growth on women’s economic empowerment.
  • How political and/ or social change, which accompanies significant economic change, affects women’s economic empowerment.

Applications are invited from research consortia from any location. The consortia members may be academic, governmental, private sector and non-profit organisations.

Research projects should not exceed two years in duration. It is anticipated that one consortium will carry out between six and eight projects within a total budget of up to CA$2 million (approximately £1,069,104). There is scope for funding one to two individual research projects of under CA$300,000 (approximately £160,332) if the proposed research is on a priority area.

The application process is in two stages and the deadline for the first stage is 17.00 GMT on 23 February 2015

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