28 maalis 2018

WIDER Seminar Series – Barriers to female empowerment: Evidence from a field experiment in Tanzania

Date and time:
28.3.2018 15:00 – 16:00
UNU-WIDER, Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, Helsinki
Event language:
free event
United Nations University World Institute for Development (UNU-WIDER)


UNU-WIDER invites all local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others working on or interested in development topics to attend its weekly seminar in Helsinki.

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics.

On 28 March Vincent Somville, Assistant Professor at Norwegian School of Economics, will present his work on barriers to female empowerment in Tanzania. See the full schedule for the first part of the spring 2018 session here.

Abstract – Barriers to female empowerment: Evidence from a field experiment in Tanzania

Many young girls in developing countries experience early pregnancy and lifelong dependence upon family and partners, which may prevent them from reaching their full productive and social potential. In this paper, we consider two potential barriers to female empowerment — lack of reproductive health knowledge and lack of economic opportunities — and report from a randomized control field experiment of an empowerment programme involving 3,900 adolescent girls in 80 schools in rural Tanzania. One group was randomly offered a training programme on reproductive health, a second group was offered a programme on entrepreneurship, while a third group was offered both training programmes. The evidence from two rounds of follow-up surveys shows that both the entrepreneurship programme and the combined programme have empowered the girls in the economic domain, while the impact of the reproductive health training is more muted. These findings suggest that entrepreneurship training is more important than health training in empowering the adolescent girls. Regarding the health domain, we do not find any evidence of a treatment effect of either training programme.

Registration: no registration needed

Key words: female empowerment, RCT, Tanzania, development economics