Reimagining Womens Empowerment in South Asia: Pathways and Policies to Achieving Gender Equality


9-10 October 2017: Colombo


The ICES-organised international conference was held in Colombo in partnership with the Urban Institute (UI) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).


The conference included a pre-conference workshop at the ICES on the 9 October for internal learning among GrOW (Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women) researchers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and a outward policy focused conference in Colombo on the 10 October, for mid- and high-level policy-makers from the region and Sri Lanka, together with the GrOW grantees.


The event included a moderated dialogue on why womens empowerment is critical for both economic development and social justice along with an expert roundtable on key emerging lessons from research on enablers of and barriers to womens economic empowerment in South Asia. It culminated in a country-specific working session led by researchers from each country team, to generate specific action items for realizing the GrOW agenda for each country.


Seventy-six invitees participated at the international conference with 30 of the participants coming from abroad, which included 18 GrOW grantees and 12 policy-makers from the region, UK, Germany, USA and Canada. The balance 46 consisted of government ministers, parliamentarians, high commissioners or their representatives (Canadian, UK & Germany), World Bank, ADB, United Nations, academics, and representatives from think tanks, NGOs, civil society organisations, television channels and newspapers along with ICES staff.


The event received significant publicity and was reviewed positively in the media and in a post-conference assessment.