Jan 24, 2021

Global Research Network on the Economic Empowerment of Women (ReNEW)

mother earth

Recognizing the social, economic, and health costs of gender inequality, numerous governments and other global organizations have made women’s economic empowerment a key priority. The OECD (2016) defines women’s economic empowerment as “women’s capacity to contribute to and benefit from economic activities on terms which recognize the value of their contribution, respect their dignity and make it possible for them to negotiate a fairer distribution of returns.” Yet despite its importance, the economic empowerment of women continues to lag. Globally, not one country is on target to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality by 2030.

Within this context, we have built a global interdisciplinary research network to examine women’s economic empowerment. The purpose of the Global Research Network on the Economic Empowerment of Women (ReNEW) is to build the foundation for sustained and productive research partnerships across disciplines, universities, and countries. We aim to understand, analyze, and theorize the experiences of women in a range of national, cultural, economic, and policy contexts.

Currently, six countries that represent five global regions are involved in ReNEW: Australia (Oceania), Brazil (South America), Canada (North America), Ghana (Africa), Ireland (Europe), and Mexico (North America). Building on understanding from country and region-specific analysis, we will make recommendations for national and international policy frameworks and initiatives.

A novel contribution of ReNEW is that we are examining women’s economic empowerment across developing and developed countries to identify common themes and issues relevant to women in a range of economies. Issues that are common across the globe include persistent gender pay gaps, the unequal distribution of unpaid and informal work between women and men, lower political participation of women, increased risk of poverty and violence for women and mothers, and the negative effects of income insecurity on individual, child, and familial health.

Through this network, we aim to derive innovative approaches to research and policies to improve women’s economic empowerment and to propose important social innovations and initiatives that could be transformative for women.

Who's involved

University of Alberta

  • Dr. Rhonda Breitkreuz, Department of Human Ecology, Faculty of ALES, Professor & Chair
  • Dr. Karen Hughes, Faculty of Business & Department of Sociology, Professor
  • Dr. Amy Kaler, Department of Sociology, Professor
  • Dr. Bukola Oladunni Salami, Faculty of Nursing, Associate Professor & Director of Research at the Intersections of Gender (RIG)
  • Dr. Laurel Sakaluk, Department of Human Ecology, Adjunct Professor

University College Dublin

  • Dr. Dorota Szelewa, Department of Social Justice, Associate Professor, & Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Family Studies

University of Ghana

  • Dr. Lydia Aziato, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Associate Professor & Dean
  • Dr. Charles Ackah, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, Associate Professor & Senior Research Fellow

Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)

  • Dr. Elza Machado de Melo, Social and Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Professor
  • Dr. Ana Maria Hermeto Camilo de Oliveira, Faculty of Economics, Professor
  • Dr. Simone Wajnman, Faculty of Economics, Professor

Tecnológico de Monterrey

  • Dr. Samira Hosseini, School of Engineering and Sciences, Professor & Director of Writing Lab, Institute for the Future of Education
  • Dr. Claudia Bautista Flores, School of Engineering and Sciences, Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Mildred Vanessa Lopez Cabrera, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Professor & Director of Educational Innovation and Research

WUN+ partners

University of Saskatchewan

  • Dr. Solina Richter, College of Nursing, Professor & Dean

University of Sydney

  • Dr. Marian Baird, School of Business, Professor & Presiding Pro-Chancellor