Measuring the impact of male engagement on women’s economic empowerment

Smiling woman in a field holding a small child

Participants increased their savings by +49%

Hand in Hand’s trial project to challenge social attitudes that hold women back and boost incomes in rural Arusha, Tanzania found evidence that male engagement positively impacted men’s and women’s attitudes toward gender roles and rights. 

The three-year project, made possible with the generous support of Cartier Philanthropy, was evaluated by the International Center for Women’s Research (ICRW).

Hand in Hand provided 600 women with Hand in Hand’s business skills training and gender-specific training – designed to shift ideas around what a women’s role should be. 300 of these women made up the ‘control’ group. 

The ‘treatment’ group was made up of 300 women whose partners (and the wider community) were given additional gender-specific training, with trainers working closely with village elders and church leaders to get their ‘buy in’ and support. 

ICRW found that women in the treatment group, whose partners had taken part in the gender specific training: 

  • Earned an +$95 additional income per month *
  • Increased their savings by +49% , compared to women whose partners did not take part, whose savings decreased by 43%.
  • Saw male partners reporting an +1hr a day spent on domestic labour. Men who had not taken part in the training reported spending  -1hr less on domestic labour
  • Saw 58% of male partners reporting positive attitudes towards gender equality (compared to 36% at the project’s start)

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*This was observed for the second cohort of couples only – see page 10 of the report for more detail.