Journal Article

Empowering women in conservative settings: Evidence from an intervention in rural Egypt

We evaluate the impact of a large-scale intervention in the conservative setting of rural Egypt which attempts to relax human capital constraints for women by offering vocational, business and life skills training across 30 villages in the south of the country. Relative to women in the control villages, the intervention increased women’s labor force participation and their likelihood to engage in self-employment and formal wage employment. Moreover, business knowledge and future business aspirations increased for treated women. We find positive spillover effects within treated villages for the intentions to set up businesses but no similar effects on actual labor market outcomes.