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Panelists on the stage at the CGD Event 'Empowering Ultra-Poor Women: Learning from Graduation Approaches.' Photo by Kaveh Sardari.

What Does it Take to Empower Ultra-Poor Women?

There is no more urgent and fundamental problem in development than finding effective ways to help the ultra-poor improve their economic and social condition. But most interventions don’t reach the poorest of the poor. A stellar panel cohosted by CGD and Women for Women International recently came together to discuss the challenges in addressing the needs of the poorest women and to explore how graduation programs perform in addressing them. Here are some key takeaways from the discussion.

Access to Contraception is a Global Development Issue

On International Women’s Day it is right to celebrate the huge advances in women’s rights during our own lifetimes. In almost every country in the world, women are closer to achieving equality in economic and social activity. However, even as we celebrate progress, we cannot lose sight of the road still to travel.

Unlocking Opportunities for Women with Smart Design

More than 30 years ago, the late development economist Mahbub Ul-Haq summarized progress on global women’s issues as a story of ‘expanding capabilities and restricted opportunities.’ This motto still applies today, with one very important difference: major advancements in research now provide the evidence to do something about it. And this something may not be as daunting a task or require as many resources as previously thought. The assumption has been that targeted investments increase women’s capabilities and then women change the world.