Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Feed the Future Thematic Overview Note: Improved Gender Integration and Women's Empowerment

Lori A. Beaman
Feed the Future Initiative
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Date Published: 
August 27, 2012

There are two main rationales for promoting gender integration and women’s empowerment. First, there are well documented gender gaps in women’s access to education, political systems, and economic opportunities. Equity considerations would call for programs targeted precisely to women and girls in order to reduce these gender gaps. Second, women play an important role in households and in the economy, and the empowerment of women may fuel subsequent economic growth and development. This note will focus on the latter, highlighting some of the knowledge already generated in the development economics literature and discussing the most promising avenues through which we can learn about the interrelationship between women’s empowerment and poverty reduction through evaluations of Feed the Future (FTF) initiatives. FTF programs cover a broad set of sectors, although the main objectives are centered on improving agricultural growth, food security, and nutrition. This note similarly touches on lessons learned from a variety of sectors.