Knowledge to action on International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Sue Szabo, Director, Social and Economic Policy, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) 

Research is crucial to understanding the barriers to women’s empowerment and their deeper causes. To mark International Women’s Day today, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is holding the event Knowledge to Action: Improving Women’s Lives. As director of Inclusive Economies, I will have the pleasure of welcoming seven panelists who will highlight the knowledge generated by IDRC-supported research teams on two crucial issues for women: economic empowerment and ending violence. 
Governments and the private sector around the world encourage women to join the workforce, often without even acknowledging a fundamental dilemma that many mothers face: how to balance childcare responsibilities with their role as breadwinners. A panel of experts from McGill University and the African Population and Health Research Centre will put the care economy at the heart of the discussion on how to empower women. They are assessing two programs—a locally run daycare facility in rural Rajasthan and an effort to use of vouchers to subside good quality daycare in Nairobi—to document the impact of daycare on women and children’s wellbeing and lay the groundwork for more supportive policy measures.
A second panel of experts will explore how women are affected by the differing contexts of violence, whether the result of armed conflict in Colombia, organized crime in Mexico, or lack of legal protection around domestic work in various African countries. The panelists will discuss strategies to overcome and prevent violence against women such as building internal community alliances, regulatory innovations, and public awareness campaigns. 
Beyond today’s event, gender is critically important in IDRC’s investments in knowledge, innovation and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world.  Some of our initiatives focus specifically on women and girls: Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women and Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa.  Such investments demonstrate how IDRC, part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, is contributing to positive global change.
If you’re in Ottawa, please join us at IDRC, 150 Kent, 8th floor from 1 to 4 pm on March 8, 2016. We’re also videotaping and will make it available on the IDRC YouTube channel.


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