Social and Economic Equity

Understanding how individuals and institutions contribute to increased economic success and well-being for women, especially for those experiencing the greatest disparities

The Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy has a strong track record of both producing research that reveals gender disparities in social and economic equity, and translating that research into the policy realm.  In this focus area, we have had a significant impact both in Minnesota and around the globe.

Research and Projects

  • Gender equity and social policy in Latin America. Research by Professor Christina Ewig, faculty director of CGWPP, measures the impact of health and pension reforms in Latin America for their implications for gender, race and class equity.
  • Gender, education and employment in the Middle East. Professor Ragui Assaad's research explores how gender and class intersect to shape the educational and employment opportunities of youth in the Middle East and North Africa and how public policies can influence these opportunity structures. 
  • Gender equity and household bargaining. Professor Greta Friedemann-Sánchez aims to understand how and why gender equity or inequity is generated inside of homes. Her current IDREAM project seeks to characterize the health economic outcomes of parents caring for a child with type 1 diabetes in central India.
  • Girls, boys, and work. Professor Deborah Levison studies how girls and boys spend their time, with a special interest in work—including "chores"—and how work and schooling intersect in Brazil, Tanzania, the U.S. and Egypt.
  • Gender and the work-life interface. Assistant Professor Carrier Oelberger researches norms and structures within the nonprofit sector, particularly examining the mutual influence between people’s private lives and their work as well as examining social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and the development of new organizations and fields.
  • Gender and social policy implementation in the United States. Professor Jodi Sandfort focuses on improving the implementation of social policy, particularly those policies designed to support low-income children and their families. 
  • Class, race and gender in U.S. welfare policy. Professor Joe Soss explores the interplay of democratic politics, socioeconomic inequalities, and public policy with an emphasis on political sources and consequences of policies that govern social marginality and shape life conditions for socially marginalized groups.

Policy Engagement

  • Women’s Economic Security Act. The CWGPP was a leading architect of this multi-pronged approach to provide protections and opportunities for women in the workplace and address the gender pay gap. Learn more.
  • Paid family leave. To move paid family leave policy ahead, CWGPP led a research team that wrote the most comprehensive report of its kind detailing design and implementation options for a paid family and medical leave insurance program in Minnesota; the foundation of legislation introduced and eventually passed by the Minnesota Senate.
  • Equal Pay. To advance pay equality, the CWGPP established a collaborative working group to examine and recommend policy to improve public and private sector equal pay laws, building on Minnesota’s leadership in this policy arena.
  • Workforce segregation. The CWGPP has taken a leading role in decreasing workforce segregation that disproportionately impacts women of color by conducting research on the economic consequences of workforce segregation and facilitating a multi-sector working group on supply and demand issues within higher-paying nontraditional occupations.
  • Status of Women and Girls. To illuminate remaining inequities in the status of women and girls, the CWGPP has undertaken research to examine key economic and social indicators. More here.

Faculty Expertise

Several Humphrey School faculty members are affiliated with the work of CWGPP. In addition, we have affiliated faculty in other academic units at the University of Minnesota and research partners at other institutions. View the list here.