This is a background paper for a new research programme on women's economic empowerment. It is a comprehensive literature review on the state of the field. Section 1 briefly discusses the global evidence on existing gender disparities in employment, wages, business opportunities, and the care economy. Sections 2, 3 and 4 describe the existing knowledge in the programme's central themes - constraints to women's economic empowerment, and the links between economic empowerment and growth - followed by research gaps and questions.
- A global research, which will bring together researchers from different countries and academic disciplines, which will produce high-quality evidence, has the potential to inform policy and practice to promote empowerment.
- Currently, there is significant global commitment to address gender inequality, including as countries and companies realise that holding women back reduces their competitiveness and potential for growth, and this program aims to galvanise that interest and commitment.
- The potential for research to inform policy and practice needs to be enhanced by specific measures for research uptake, notably, by ensuring research questions are relevant through engagement with policy makers and other potential users, and by communicating research effectively and synthesising research for different audiences.