Latin America and the Caribbean Gender Innovation Lab


The LAC Gender Innovation Lab provides World Bank operational teams, policy makers, and development practitioners with knowledge to promote gender equality and drive change in Latin America and the Caribbean. To this end, the Lab generates evidence through impact evaluations and inferential studies to find out what works to close gender gaps in human capital, economic participation, social norms, and agency.

Image HUMAN CAPITAL: Remove barriers to human capital investment and to the productive engagement of youth who are neither in school, nor employed, nor in training (NEET)
Image ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION: Remove barriers to participation and productivity of women in paid work and entrepreneurship.
Image SOCIAL NORMS: Identify social norms that perpetuate gender inequalities.


AGENCY: Understand the role of agency—the ability to make choices and to transform those choices into desired outcomes—in gender equity




The LACGIL works in partnership with units across the World Bank, aid agencies and donors, governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector firms, and academic researchers.

This work has been funded in part by the World Bank Group's Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE), a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank to advance gender equality and women's empowerment through experimentation and knowledge creation to help governments and the private sector focus policy and programs on scalable solutions with sustainable outcomes. The UFGE is supported by generous contributions from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

The evidence generated by LACGIL studies will be made available in working papers, reports, policy briefs, and blogs through our website.


Policy Briefs

Girls education

Facilitating the School to Work Transition of Young Women

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the school-to-work transition is more challenging for girls than boys due to societal norms. This policy brief provides novel evidence on the effects of the work-study program by gender. Read more.


Uneven Recovery in Latin America and The Caribbean: Are Women Being Left Behind?

In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the effects of the pandemic on labor market outcomes continue to be pronounced, especially for women. Fifteen months into the pandemic, declines in employment continued to be more pronounced for women than for men. Read more.


Latin America and the Caribbean Country Scorecards

The LACGIL, in partnership with the LAC Gender Coordination, published 29 Country Gender Scorecards. The tool is the first of its kind, aiming to bridge knowledge gaps for each country in the region with the issue around gender equality. Read more.



Improving Gender Wage Equality Reduces Intimate Partner Violence in Brazil: Policy Implications for Mothers

Improved wage equality led to reduced violence against women in municipalities with women’s police stations. In municipalities without women’s police stations, the opposite occurred. Providing childcare services, maternity leave, and fatherhood programs may improve wage equality. Read more.


The Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on the Labor Market in Latin America and the Caribbean

At the onset of the pandemic, women were 44% more likely than men to lose their jobs temporarily or permanently (56% chance for women, 39% for men). Read more.


Diez Mensajes Sobre COVID-19 y Trabajo Femenino en Chile: Impactos y Desafíos (Spanish)
The fall in female labor force participation carries a high cost: recent evidence indicates that, if the gender gaps in labor participation and schooling are maintained, Chile could lose an average of 11.4% of GDP per capita in the next few three decades. Read more and see our infographic.


Women Entrepreneurs in Mexico: Breaking Sectoral Segmentation and Increasing Profits

Policy brief shows that women entrepreneurs who break sectoral barriers (crossovers) perform better, male mentors or male role models can help women to cross over, and women “opportunity” entrepreneurs are more likely than “necessity” entrepreneurs to cross over. Read more.


Cashing in on Education: Women, Work and Child Care in Latin America and the Caribbean

The summary reviews existing evidence and uses an integrated framework to answer questions on why and what policy-relevant instruments can increase female labor force participation. Read more.

Papers and Reports

DIGITARO project

DIGITAGRO - Investing in Digital Technology to Increase Market Access for Women Agri-preneurs in Guatemala

The World Bank’s DIGITAGRO project, piloted digital technologies to improve market access for women agripreneurs, so they could supply the School Feeding Program in a fair, safe, sustainable, and profitable way while helping schools improve children’s nutrition. The purpose of this report is to describe the DIGITAGRO project and to present the findings of the impact evaluation study on the information campaign. Read more.


Childcare is key to Chile's post-pandemic economic recovery: Policy considerations (Spanish)

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic, 46% of women vs. 69% of men participate in the labor market. COVID-19 has reinforced gender inequalities in unpaid domestic and care tasks. This study finds that 40% of households with young children that don’t use formal childcare services could do so if they have access to conveniently located, affordable, and high-quality childcare services. Read more.


Does the Gender Wage Gap Influence Intimate Partner Violence in Brazil? Evidence from Administrative Health Data 

This working paper suggests that improving gender wage equality reduces violence against women: homicides of working-age women are lower when wages are more equal, and more wage equality is associated with fewer cases of non-fatal violence. Read more.

 Knowledge to Action Notes

Mexico Entrepreneurs

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies

Women-owned businesses in emerging economies tend to be less profitable than those owned by men. Understanding the challenges women entrepreneurs face is essential to help them increase their profits. This note shares lessons learned from interventions piloted by the LAC Gender Innovation Lab in Mexico. These interventions help small women retailers to compete more effectively with big retailers, thus improving their livelihoods. Read more.


Addressing Intimate Partner Violence Under Rapidly Changing Circumstances

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is one of the most widespread forms of violence against women. In Latin America and the Caribbean, one out of three ever-partnered women has been physically or sexually abused by their partners. This Note shares new research findings on IPV and initiatives that can address it during rapidly changing circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.


Including Women in the Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

In the Latin America and Caribbean region, COVID-19 hit women harder than men. Our research showed that two months into the lockdowns, 56% of women who worked prior to the COVID-19 outbreak had stopped working. Among men this share was 39%. How to address the gendered effects of COVID-19 on labor market outcomes? Read more.


Addressing violence against women in Brazil

In 2006 the Maria da Penha Law was enacted to create new mechanisms to prevent and fight domestic violence. However, Brazil had the 5th highest female murder rate