Removing Obstacles to Gender Equality and

Women’s Economic Empowerment

About the Conference

The FREE Network - the Forum for Research On Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies - and the International School of Economics at TSU (ISET) and its Policy Institute, are delighted to extend a warm invitation to participate in an international conference on gender economics entitled: "Removing Obstacles to Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment". The conference will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 15-16th November 2019. The conference is organized as part of the FROGEE initiative - the Forum for Research on Gender Economics - supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and coordinated by the Stockholm Institute  of Transition

Economics (SITE). The objective of the conference is bringing together researchers, policy-makers, and the broader development community to discuss the obstacles to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, and policies to remove existing constraints, with a focus on Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies. 

Our aim is to contribute to the development of national and regional agendas pursuing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals  (see UN’s portal here), with a particular focus on Gender Equality (SDG 5), critical to achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Key Note Speakers

Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank Group,

Dr. Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank Group, Washington D.C., is recognized internationally as an expert on gender and development. Before joining the Bank Group in 2014, she was Economist-in-Residence and Co-Director of the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University. From 2013-2014, she led the UNU-WIDER program on aid effectiveness and gender equality, and from 2011-2013 she served as Senior Gender Adviser and Acting Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at USAID. Among her previous positions, Dr. Grown has been Senior Scholar and Co-Director of the Gender Equality and Economy Program at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, Director of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Governance team at the International Center for Research on Women, and Senior Program Officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Shahra Razavi

Dr. Shahra Razavi joined UN Women, HQ New York City as Chief of Research and Data in June 2013. She specializes in the gender dimensions of development, with a particular focus on work, social policy and care. Before that, she was a senior researcher at UNRISD, where she led the institute’s research programme on gender and development. Shahra is the author of more than 40 refereed journal articles and chapters in edited volumes. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Masters and PhD from Oxford University.

Conference Program


Day 1: Friday, 15 November, 2019

Conference Program

Day 1: Friday, 15 November, 2019

9:30-10:00 Registration and coffee

Welcome Addresses 
Dr. Tamar Sulukhia, the host, ISET Director
Ms. Salome Zourabichvili, the President of Georgia, (TBC)
H.E. Ulrik Tideström, Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia
Ms.  Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
Dr. Giorgi Sharvashidze, Rector of Tbilisi State University, Board Member of ISET

  Keynote Addresses:
10:20-10:50 Dr. Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender, World Bank, Washington
10:50-11:20 Dr. Shahra Razavi, Chief of Research and Data, UN Women, New York
11:20-11:45 “Gender and Development – a Regional Perspective”. Presentation by Dr. Norberto Pignatti, ISET Policy Institute
11:45-12:15 Coffee Break
12:15-13:30 Policy Panel “Women Empowerment: South Caucasus Perspective”
Moderator: Dr. Yaroslava Babych, Lead Economist, ISET
Erika Kvapilova, Country Representative, UN Women, Georgia
Marina Tabukashvili, Director General, Taso Foundation
Mariam Jashi, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Education, Science and Culture
Sebastian Molineus, Regional Director for the South Caucasus, World Bank Group
13:30-14:30 Lunch (Rooms Hotel, all participants, panelists and guests)
14:30-15:30 Academic Plenary Presentations Session 1
ISET Policy Institute. Key findings of PI academic and policy work on gender issues. 
Davit Keshelava, “Social Economic Policy Analysis with Regard to Son Preference and Gender-Based Sex Selection in Georgia”.
Norberto Pignatti “Employment vs. Homestay and Happiness of Women in the South Caucasus".
15:30-16:30 Academic Plenary Presentations Session 2
Anders Olofsgard, SITE, Sweden “The Donor Footprint and Gender Gaps”
Lev Lvovskiy, BEROC, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center, “Does Gender Composition Matter for Team Performance? Evidence from Trivia Game”
16:30-17:00 Coffee Break
17:00-18:00 Academic Plenary Presentations Session 3
Mychal Myck, CenEA, Poland “From Partial to Full Universality: The Family 500+ Programme in Poland and its Labour Supply Implications”
Vardan Baghdasaryan, American University of Armenia, “Child Care Policy, Maternal Labor Supply and Household Welfare: Evidence from a Natural Experiment”
19:30-21:30 Conference Dinner
Venue: Veriko Restaurant 
Address: 1 Petriashvili Street
Day 2: Saturday, 16 November, 2019

Conference Program

Day 2: Saturday, 16 November, 2019

9:30-10:00 Registration and coffee
10:00-13:00 Parallel Academic Sessions
  Session 1: Meeting room 1.5. Labor Supply, Entrepreneurship and Gender Wage Gap
  • Radwa Abo Shady, American University in Cairo, “Cost of Unsafe Mobility on the Egyptian Working Women”
  • Satish Kumar, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India, “Inclusive Financial Market and Microfinance approach for Women Empowerment: A study on Coastal Karnataka”
  • Girijasankar Mallik, Western Sydney University, “Does the Gander Earning gap exist in Australia?”
  • Dagmara Nikulin, Gdansk University of Technology, “Gender wage gap and the international trade involvement. Evidence for European workers”
  • Brankica Todorovich, School of Economics, Uzice, Serbia “Gender Inequality on the Labour Market”
10:00-13:00   Session 2: Meeting room 2.8. Public Policies, Institutions and Family
  • Mridula Goel, BITS Pilani Goa Campus, “Has Public Policy succeeded in women autonomy and empowerment in India over the last decade?”
  • Leszek Morawski, University of Warsaw, “Changes in tax and benefit policies in the years 2005-2017 and monetary poverty in Poland: microsimulation approach”
  • Izabela Wowczko, Centre for Economic Analysis CenEA, “Gender preferences in Central and Eastern Europe as reflected in family structure”
  • Yolanda Pena-Boquete, AYeconomics Research Centre, “Labour Supply and Childcare: Allowing Both Parents to Choose”
  • Vladimir Hlasny, “Earnings Gaps in Putin’s Russia: Market and Home Production across Socioeconomic Groups, 2000–2016”
13:00-14:00 Lunch (all participants)
14:00-17:00 Session 3: Meeting room 1.5. Aspects of Gender Inequality
  • Humaira Kamal Pasha, Universite Clermont Auvergne, CERDI “Strategic Life Choices in Women’s Economic Empowerment: Is Society Scared of Educated and Economically Empowered Women?”
  • Daniela Pescaru Urse, University of Bucharest, “The Gender Impact of Pension Systems in Post-Communist European Countries”
  • Keiti Kondi, IRES - Université Catholique de Louvain, “Gender Gap, Intra Household Bargaining and Sex Selective Abortion in Albania”
  • Atsiya Pius Amos, University of York, “Land Ownership, Household Bargaining power and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from NDHS”
  • Sarah Grace See, University of Groningen, “The Determinants of Children’s and Adolescents’ Time Use and the Trade-off Within”
  • Balram Rao, Alliance University, Benagluru, India “Gender Inequality in Educational Attainments: Empirical Evidences from India’s most Populated Province”
14:00-17:00 Session 4: Meeting room 2.8. Gender and Trade, Informality, Labor Market Outcomes
  • Jieun Choi, World Bank, “Gender and Export crops for small farmers” (remotely)
  • Marie-France Paquet and Georgina Wainwright Kemdirim, Global Affairs Canada, “Since the effects of trade liberalization are not gender neutral, how can we improve its gender outcome?”
  • Neha B Upadhayay, Universite Paris-Est, “Are only men fighting trade wars? Empirical evidence from the temporary trade barriers data”
  • Olena Mykhailenko, Ontario Tech University, “Exploring relationships between attitudes towards IT, personal-cultural orientations and gender of university students in Ukraine and Latvia”
  • Sarita Agrawal, Central University of Gujarat. “Women Domestic Workers in Urban Informal Sector: a Case Study of Baroda City”
17:00-17:30 Coffee Break
17:30-17:45 Closing Session of the Conference. Moderated by Michal Myck.
Mzia Mikeladze Auditorium
17:45-19:00 Activity: Guided Tour of Tbilisi
The tour might be cancelled due to weather conditions


Day 1: Friday, 15 November

Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, Garden Hall

14 M. Kostava Str., Tbilisi, GE

Tel.: +995 32 2020099

Whatsapp: +995 577 377799

Day 2: Saturday, 16 November

ISET – International School of Economics at TSU

Conference Hall

16 Zandukeli Street, Tbilisi 0108 GE

Tel.: +995 32 2507177

Contact Us

16 Zandukeli Street, Tbilisi 0108 Georgia

Tel.: +995 32 2507177


16, Zandukeli St,
0108 Tbilisi,

Telephone: (+995 32) 250 71 77