Dept of State DRL Strengthening Women’s Participation in the Workforce
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Prospective applicants from the UI who wish to apply to a DOS program that limits the number of applications allowed per institution must refer to the UI Limited Submissions guidelines at https://uiowa.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1809264
Background: Women, half of the global workforce, face multiple barriers to their full and equal participation at work, limiting their economic contributions over the course of their lives. Numerous studies have shown that barriers to women's participation in the workforce stifle national economies – that an increase in women's labor force participation results in faster and more inclusive economic growth, and that increasing the share of household income controlled by women changes spending in ways that benefit their families and communities. Improving work conditions and addressing constraints to workforce participation for vulnerable women workers is one step toward unleashing women’s economic potential in order to maximize global economic growth and stability. Increasing women’s economic participation throughout their lives strengthens prospects for economic growth, and benefits families, communities, and countries. The challenges that women face are unique and often not taken into account when groups advocate for worker rights, creating safe work environments, and developing leadership skills. Challenges include unequal pay and lack of wage transparency; discrimination in hiring and job evaluation; gender-discriminatory personal status laws limiting freedom of movement; women’s ability to work outside the home without a male guardian’s permission; family demand and expectations; gender-based violence and harassment; safe and accessible transportation; lack of parental leave and affordable care for children and family; inadequate representation in worker organizations; inflexible or unpredictable hours and scheduling; and unsafe and unsanitary work conditions.