Legal Regimes and Women's Economic Agency (WomEcon)
The project's objective is to improve our understanding of how legal regimes and legal changes affect the economic agency of different subgroupes of women across the world
A growing number of studies show that women's economic agency, understood as the ability to make independent economic choices due to access to resources via asset ownership, control of land, or employment, is key to contesting unequal gender relations, refashioning social norms, and creating sustainable development. Yet in much of the developing world the economic agency of women is still constrained by legal provisions that deny them the ability to work, to own land, to inherit, to sign contracts, and to act as autonomous agents in the public sphere. Such provisions restrict the important social mechanism of economic agency that can enable women to contest oppressive gender relations from the ground up. This project is a comparative study of how family laws, labor codes, and public policies differentially shape women's economic agency across the world.