As some of us set asail to build our careers in Economics and Policy, we noticed competitiveness, secrecy, mistrust, and fear in others to share what they knew. People wanted to win at each other’s expense, and we sensed an unconscious bias against women in the field. We also observed that our research interests were around gender issues, and hence decided to set up this group.
  Our vision for the group is for it to disrupt the status quo in favour of a culture of empathy, co-learning, and democratized access to knowledge, industry insights, skills, and people, where one won't be laughed at for not knowing something. We are a personal + professional support group for the fabulous women in Economics and Policy across the world, for them to be able to openly share their challenges that are unique to being a woman in the field and help each other grow. We seek to build an environment that promotes collaboration over toxic competitiveness.
  Some broad areas of interest that bind everyone together are Development Economics, Informing Policy, Governance; Public Health, Environment, and even Behavioural Economics. We currently have over 300 members, and are extremely excited to see how the group grows!

Group Activities

External Session

We are extremely thrilled to announce that our very first External Session will be an Interactive Session with Dr. Ruth E. Levine (CEO, IDinsight) on 8th August, 8 pm IST/7:30 am PST/10:30 am EST. Dr Levine will be sharing her experience navigating the development sector. 

Reading Group

This month we are reading Caroline Criado-Perez's 'Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men'.

We will be discussing Chapter 12: A Costless Resource to Exploit on August 16 (Sunday) from 6-7 PM IST.  Reach out to Sakshina Bhatt at if you would like to join us!

Recommended Readings / Podcasts

This week's readings focus on development issues through a gendered lens. The readings cover how preschool expansion influences maternal employment, why parents invest in the education of girls, an exciting intervention on gender curriculum, son preference, the climate smart village approach and its role on gender equality and more!
This group was started with the acknowledgement of the lack of diversity in our field and the need to create inclusive spaces and critically think about why we intimidate and turn away talent- mostly from underrepresented minorities. Below are essential readings on the experience of women and minorities in the field, and how we can and should be doing better. 


This paper studies preschool expansion and maternal employment in Indonesia where preschool attendance and maternal employment are both low and find that mothers of age-eligible children are more likely to be employed as a result of improved access to public preschools.
Here is a paper that asks why parents invest in a girls education and finds that the reason is the marriage-market advantage.
Here is an exciting intervention from Haryana on a gender curriculum that engaged adolescents in classroom discussions about gender equality for two and a half years with the goal of eroding their support for restrictive gender norms, and found lasting effects.

Safety Nets

This article discusses findings from a large-scale experiment wherein women were provided with individual bank accounts and their NREGS earnings were deposited directly into their accounts (as opposed to the account of the male household head). It finds that with more control of their potential wages, female labour force participation increases and leads to more progressive gender norms.
 This study looks into the impact of climate-smart village approach on gender equality in farming households within India, and finds that the approach has contributed towards knowledge, participation and capacity enhancement of women and men farmers alike.

Son Preference

This paper studies the role of cultural factors, in particular son preference, on maternal morbidity and mortality in the developing world. It shows how son preference leads to fertility behaviours that can be risky in terms of health. The findings of this multi-country research emphasise the interactive role of economic and cultural factors in influencing maternal morbidity and mortality, and show the far-reaching negative health consequences of son preference. 
This podcast helps to understand how laws might not have the effects they are intended for, and discusses how equal inheritance laws in India raised the cost of having a daughter, and lead to an increase in stated son preference.


Claudia Sahm's moving and truthful account about the field and why and how we need to do better.

A podcast about what ensued when Alice Wu stumbled on an anonymous econ job forum and decided to hold up a mirror to her field by using what economists like to use best- rigorous evidence to test bias.
AOC's hopeful and brave speech to the everyday violence women face and the gendered power imbalance faced by women in all fields at all positions, everywhere.
art-piece of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by @jieax on instagram

Output By Members

Salonie Chawla writes about the importance of encouraging participation from women in the workforce when looking at an economic recovery from Covid-19, here 

Salonie Chawla in conversation with Shardul Nautiyal on the ‘Self Reliant India’ campaign and its implications for healthcare, here 

Samia Mehraj writes for the Livemint on ‘Why labour law dilutions may not bring in fresh investments’ here, along with co-authors

Smriti Saini, along with her colleagues at IFPRI, writes on Covid-19 challenges to Equity: Insight from Rural Nepal and Senegal, here

Alisha George writes about Universal Basic Income, their effects, potential for more research and anticipates hindrances in implementation, here 

Geetika Ahuja writes on the response to COVID and analyzes how declining federalism is weakening India’s response to this pandemic, and how decentralization can go a long way to tackle this crisis of nature, here 

Piera Bello’s working paper on gender based price discrimination in the annuity market, evidence from Chile, here  


Have thoughts on our first newsletter, or ideas for other activities we should consider? Follow us on Twitter or shoot us an email or fill out this feedback form! We’d love to hear from you and work on what we can do better!!
Copyright © 2020 Women In Economics and Public Policy, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.