Empowering Women through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Institute for Advanced Study; New Economic School; Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR)
January 17, 2013
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Political Science Department Working Paper No. 2012-13
In societies with widespread gender discrimination, development programs with gender quotas are considered a way to improve women’s economic, political, and social status. Using a randomized field experiment across 500 Afghan villages, we examine the effects of a development program that mandates women’s community participation. We find that even in a highly conservative context like Afghanistan, such initiatives improve female participation in some economic, social, and political activities, including increased mobility and income generation. They, however, produce no change in more entrenched female roles linked to family decision-making or in attitudes towards the general role of women in society.
Keywords: Economics of gender, field experiment, Afghanistan
JEL Classification: J16, O1working papers series
Date posted: May 29, 2012 ; Last revised: January 17, 2013
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