PublicationsTopic index of systematic reviewsKnowledge pagesEconomic support for women
Economic support for women
This page contains the findings of systematic reviews undertaken by review groups linked to the EPPI Centre

In the context of international development, a systematic review on economic transfers to women [1] found:

  • The gender of the transfer recipient affects the outcomes of some programmes
  • Targeting transfers to women can improve children’s well-being - in particular in the form of investments in children’s health and education.
  • Increasing female control of transfers does not guarantee positive outcomes.
  • Findings for micro-credit remain highly controversial and inconclusive.
  • Outcomes may be dependent on the type of programme offered.

Another study [2] found a modest but growing evidence base to suggest that providing girls and young women with access to economic assets and developing their skill sets may improve their ability to generate an income, increase the amount they can save, support their participation in school, and increase their sexual health knowledge. However, claims that this will increase their economic standing in society overall, lead to better further educational or career choices or improve long-term sexual health outcomes, as adults, cannot be made. Meanwhile the studies reporting on girls and young women’s views suggest that social, practical and financial support is required if they are to maintain safe and active economic participation in society. In addition, further consideration of their experiences of economic asset building interventions should be assessed during programme participation to ensure interventions are more likely to be successful.

In a study of micro-credit [3], micro-leasing or micro-savings some reviewed studies targeted women specifically and others disaggregated outcomes by gender, but there was not enough evidence for any conclusions on whether financial interventions targeted at women are more or less effective for them.


1. The impact of economic resource transfers to women versus men: a systematic review (2012)

2. Providing access to economic assets for girls and young women in low-and-lower middle income countries: a systematic review of the evidence (2012)

3. Do micro-credit, micro-savings and micro-leasing serve as effective financial inclusion interventions enabling poor people, and especially women, to engage in meaningful economic opportunities in low- and middle-income countries? A systematic review of the evidence (2012)

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