(with Arijit Nandi)
There are structural barriers to women’s empowerment in India. Among these barriers is the lack of affordable and reliable day-care services. The responsibility of providing childcare is imposed primarily on women and contributes to gender inequalities experienced by women over the life-course. The provision of affordable and reliable day-care services is a potentially important policy lever for empowering Indian women. Access to day-care might reduce barriers to labor force entry and generate economic opportunities for women. However, empirical evidence concerning the effects of day-care programs in low-and-middle-income countries is scarce. We propose a cluster-randomized impact evaluation for estimating the effect of a community-based day-care program on empowerment, economic opportunity, and health among mothers living in rural Rajasthan, India. This interdisciplinary research initiative will address an important research gap and has the potential to inform policies for improving the day-care system in India in ways that promote inclusive economic growth.
The video below provides some additional details about the project and some essential context for where this work is being done.