Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
Resilient market ecosystems must be inclusive of marginalized groups
Power imbalances and harmful social norms prevent women—as well as men and socially excluded groups—from going about their lives freely, preventing them from taking full and equal advantage of opportunity. Disparities and biases lead to less inclusive markets and businesses which further reinforce social and economic inequities. At iDE, we work to expose beliefs and practices that perpetuate inequality and use the knowledge we acquire to design social and behavioral-change programming that promote the creation of resilient market ecosystems, which benefit all people.
Our new gender equality and social inclusion policy commits us to supporting groups which are under-represented in market ecosystems; are discriminated against; and/or unable to access products and services, simply because of who they are, holding them back and hurting their ability to prosper. The policy is embedded in our Infinite Model, which guides the way we create market ecosystems and says markets must be inclusive of marginalized groups such as women, as well as being competitive and resilient.
iDE uses a range of tools to measure empowerment for people at the household level. For example, we use the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), a tool developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute to assess changes in empowerment across five domains including production, resources, income, leadership, and time use. IDE is now pioneering a similar tool to use in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, researching methods that go beyond gender to evaluate other barriers to inclusion.