Ashwini Deshpande and Janneke Pieters on women’s work

WIDER Webinar, 8 March 2022

Ashwini Deshpande and Janneke Pieters on women’s work

The gender gaps in pay and labour force participation are real and persistent worldwide. Women often occupy the worst-paid jobs with the least protection, while gender-related social norms often hinder women’s access to better opportunities. How do the processes of economic development and social change affect women’s labour market outcomes? What forces can bring about opportunities for women’s work that truly enhance their economic empowerment? And, what development agendas are most likely to improve gender equality and bring about the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal #5?

UNU-WIDER hosts two leading scholars to share their knowledge on the often complex answers to these questions in a special WIDER Webinar on International Women’s Day. Ashwini Deshpande and Janneke Pieters are the editors of a forthcoming Journal Special Issue in World Development to feature pioneering research from UNU-WIDER’s project Women’s work — Routes to social and economic empowerment which assesses the importance of different supply-side and demand-side determinants of women’s economic wellbeing in the Global South.

The event is chaired by UNU-WIDER director Kunal Sen.

If the video doesn't show right, you can watch the recording on our Youtube channel.

About the speakers

Ashwini Deshpande is Professor of Economics at Ashoka University, India. Her PhD and early publications have been on the international debt crisis of the 1980s. Subsequently, she has been working on the economics of discrimination and affirmative action, with a focus on caste and gender in India.

She has published extensively in leading scholarly journals. She is the author of Grammar of Caste: economic discrimination in contemporary India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2011; and Affirmative Action in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Oxford India Short Introductions series, 2013. She is the editor of Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity (along with William Darity, Jr.), Routledge, London, 2003; Globalization and Development: A Handbook of New Perspectives, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007; Capital Without Borders: Challenges to Development, Anthem Press, UK, 2010; and Global Economic Crisis and the Developing World (with Keith Nurse), Routledge, London, 2012.

She received the EXIM Bank award for outstanding dissertation (now called the IERA Award) in 1994, and the 2007 VKRV Rao Award for Indian economists under 45.

Janneke Pieters is Associate Professor in Development Economics at Wageningen University, and Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Her research interests are primarily in the fields of labour economics and development economics, with a focus on labour markets and gender inequality. Her recent work focuses on the determinants and consequences of female labour supply in low and middle income countries, the impacts of COVID-19 on employment in Africa, and issues related to the measurement of labour in low-income countries.

Ashwini Deshpande and Janneke Pieters are currently involved in UNU-WIDER’s research project Women's work – routes to economic and social empowerment. Together, they co-organize the project’s research outputs and are the editors of a forthcoming Journal Special Issue.