Movements, Markets and Transnational Network

This Gates Foundation funded research is aimed at assisting to increase and improve resources for women’s organizations and movements as a channel for advancing women’s human rights, especially women’s social and economic rights.

Since 2017, scholars at PPRI have analyzed the relationship between women’s movements and women’s economic empowerment around the world. The project, “Movements, Markets, and Transnational Networks,” is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is the first systematic global analysis of the determinants of women’s economic rights, particularly with regards to land access, financial inclusion, and equality in employment laws and practices. The PPRI team updated and expanded a database of feminist mobilization in 126 countries from 1975 -2015. The new database offers extensive coverage of the global south, especially Africa, the first database to offer such coverage.

As shown in the map below, feminist movements are present in nearly every country included in our database by 2015. As a comparison, only 40% of the countries in the database had feminist movements in 1975. This development is important because autonomous feminist mobilization is critical for reducing inequality in political and economic spheres in general. Specifically, there is a clear link between feminist advocacy and laws on women’s economic rights.

Feminist Mobilization Index 2015. Source: ESRI 2008 World Countries boundary file; ESRI Data & Maps in ArcGIS 10 Download. Geographic Coordinate System: WGS 1984.

In addition to examining women’s movements and economic empowerment through quantitative analyses, PPRI team members traveled to Jordan, Morocco, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Chile, and Mexico to understand how feminist activists and organizations can improve the economic status of women in these countries. We found that feminist movements teach entrepreneurs how to create sustainable business plans, pressure governments to adopt equitable economic policies, and help women become financially independent so that they can escape violent family situations.