Key innovations to achieve poverty reduction: empower women

4th November 2020

In 2012, 19 institutions started the NOPOOR Project - Enhancing Knowledge for Renewed Policies against Poverty. This project was developed during 5.5 years and joined more than 100 researchers around the world to investigate and discuss what were the best practices to fighting poverty and inequality.

The project compared policies against poverty in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and debated which innovations were needed to achieve poverty reduction. One outstanding dimension of poverty, which came out as a fundamental innovation was to empower women. Achieving this goal is a game changer not only to reduce poverty, but also to achieve a more equal society, to have check and balances in public policy decisions that affect men and women´s lives. Given the importance of this dimension, the idea of a book that compiled some experiences of the three regions was born.

The book, Advances in Women’s Empowerment: Critical Insight from Asia, Africa and Latin America, facilitates an essential discussion about women's empowerment and public policy. The book showcases that in order to have better policies, it is necessary to evaluate achievements and failures, and understand how different strategies have had diverse impacts on women's wellbeing and empowerment.

The book´s introduction will submerge you in the current research and arguments about the state of women’s empowerment in the world and give you a succinct view of each chapter. Chapters start with an index of women empowerment around the world, then research different countries like India, Mexico, Brazil, and the region of Sub-Saharan Africa, to disentangle the relationship of empowerment with fertility, income mobility, labor force participation, marriage laws, and violence against women. The closing chapters explains why this relationship prevails and what are the grassroots, presenting an example of India.

Highlight: This book is for graduate students, researchers, and policy makers.

The research in this book would serve students to understand the dimensions of women’s empowerment, would provide researchers with new data and different insights of the analysis of empowerment, and policy makers to see where policies fail, what needs to be improved and which policies need to be assessed, tested or innovated.  But above all, if we reach the goal of women’s empowerment, no matter if it is done bit by bit, it will increase not only the life of half of the world (women) but those who live around them.

This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Fourth World Conference on Women, and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Truth be said, rather than celebration is a commemoration, and reminder that there is a long way to go to reach the goal of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. The global public health crisis we are living now, represents another challenge for gender equality. Women are assuming a disproportionate burden in responding to Covid-19 as caregivers, health workers, but also as providers for families’ economic survival in the context of growing unemployment and health risks implied in informal economy.

Highlight: The current health situation will accentuate the findings of the book with regards to women´s roles in society.

When we were working on this book, we were aware of multiple challenges the 5th Goal the Sustainable Agenda represents for public policy, for Civil Society Organizations, and for us, members of academy and research community. Through field research, quantitative analysis, and academic discussions we were in touch with the complex reality of women living and poverty in developing countries, women who are fighting for changing power relations within labor market, family, law, or civil society. We hope that this book is an opportunity for an academic discussion and an inspiration for public policy more preoccupied with women’s well-being and empowerment.


Dra. Araceli Ortega Díaz and Dra. Marta Ochman

Escuela de Gobierno y Transformación Pública Technológico de Monterrey, Mexico

To find out more about the book and order your copy, please visit the Emerald Bookstore.