How can policymakers ensure high take-up rates for programmes designed to increase women’s economic empowerment?

Across the world, women face invisible barriers that prevent them from taking up education and work. This is particularly the case in conservative societies such as in Punjab, Pakistan. In this VoxDev Talk, Asim Khwaja discusses an experiment in Punjab, Pakistan, that assessed the take-up rates of a vocational training programme for women. The researchers found that despite high interest, few women actually took up the programme. This low take-up rate was largely explained by social barriers that prevented women travelling to neighbouring villages (where the trainings were held). However, if group transport could be secured through a male from the village, then take-up increased dramatically.      

Read “Glass Walls: Experimental evidence on access constraints faced by women” by Ali Cheema, Asim Khwaja, Farooq Naseer and Jacob Shapiro here.

Pakistan Women’s economic empowerment Take-up rates Social norms Transport Security Vocational training