Building an Equitable Future? BRAC’s Star Program and Young Women’s Economic Empowerment in Bangladesh

Equitable futures depend upon better employment outcomes for young women. We use a skills ecosystems approach to explore how youth skills development programs can maximise their impact in highly gendered societies and labour markets. While improving employment outcomes and incomes for young women, BRAC’s STAR program cannot withstand Bangladesh’s deep-rooted and socially restrictive norms and practices. Short-term successes are diluted as family pressures and commitments take precedence over young women’s economic lives. Adding a temporal dimension to the concept of skills ecosystems, these findings highlight that maintaining these impacts requires constant renegotiation and advocacy to challenge the structural obstacles within households and labour markets and within national policies and investments that constrain their longer-term economic empowerment.

Authors: Banks, Nicola; Jahan, Nusrat; Rahman, Tasmiah; Tabbassum, Asma; Roy, Joydeep Sinha; Shakil, Shifur Rahman
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2023