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Why #OneSouthAsia?

Women and Inclusiveness

Empowering women is central to our work to advance regional cooperation in South Asia,. The fast-growing region has some of the world's largest gender gaps -- including the lowest level of female labor-force participation. 


Our work aims to close knowledge gaps on gender aspects in transport, climate change, health, education, social protection, and fragility, conflict, and violence. The approach crosses many sectors, including some once considered to be “gender blind” such as infrastructure, transport, and trade facilitation. Our work also targets specific areas where gaps between men and women and between and boys and girls can be identified and addressed, using evidence-based approaches.


The World Bank works with a number of partners, including the South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program, to provide analyses and technical assistance identifying ways to support women's entrepreneurship and participation in the labor force. Our gender-related reports and activities include:




Blog series: Women in South Asia


What's New


India: Rural women go digital to manage the pandemic’s disruptions

Feb 10, 2021 - Digital skills training offered by a grassroots group is helping seamstresses, vendors, and small farmers broaden their customer base through Facebook and Instagram, and learn how to carry out basic online transactions.
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Policy changes to help women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh

Jan 24, 2021 - Women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh are a potent source of future jobs. But to overcome barriers, women need help accessing bank loans, digital skills, export markets, and other tools. This report recommends ways to support an inclusive economy.
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Responding to gender-based violence in Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka

Dec 11, 2020 - Two out of five South Asian women have experienced partner violence. The World Bank is stepping up efforts to curb gender-based violence through investments, research, and collaboration with stakeholders, especially in infrastructure and education.
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Sexual harassment in South Asia: What recent data tells us

Nov 25, 2020 - Whether in South Asia's public spaces or the workplace, sexual harassment is a form of gender-based violence, inflicting harm and stress on its victims and limiting their opportunities.
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Analyzing Female Employment Trends in South Asia

Feb. 19, 2020 - Jobs data from nearly 100 sources in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka indicate that female employment participation has been low and broadly unchanged since 2001.
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Women in Trade: A Spotlight on Eastern South Asia

Jan 24, 2021 - Trade is a powerful tool for BBIN economic growth but women need to benefit to the same extent as men. This report highlights work barriers that women face and sectors with greatest potential for them to find jobs.
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Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality

July 30, 2020 - Trade creates good paying jobs for women and cuts costs for consumers. But gains come only if trade barriers are lifted. Women exporters in Pakistan said they face Customs officers’ arbitrary decisions, reckless handling of goods, and bribe demands.
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VIDEO Oct 14, 2020
South Asia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. The World Bank's inclusive resilience work aims to build awareness and share knowledge on how disaster risk management can better advance social inclusion.

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