Women are generally deprived of equal access to productive resources and economic opportunities, across the globe. Empowerment gives women the capacity to participate, together with men, in the shaping of society, to influence development at all levels of society and to make decisions that promote their families’ and their own well-being. BRAC Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD) programme is implementing a project which targets poor and vulnerable women in Narayanganj District. The specific objectives of the impact study are: to assess the level of economic participation of poor and vulnerable women, identify barriers that restrict access to economically productive activities and assess the knowledge and practice level of local service providers. To evaluate the impact of the project, the study used both
qualitative and quantitative methods including the use of the Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) tool. The baseline survey was conducted with 1,300 women but a year later during the endline data collection only 1,118 women were revisited. There was about a 14% dropout from the estimated baseline sample size. The conclusion was therefore made from 1,118 women whom the researcher met during both baseline and end line data collection. The baseline survey revealed that only 1.0 per cent of the women have their own business but 32.1 per cent are involved in income generating activities. After the end line data collection we found that women’s involvement in income generating activities significantly increased as the percentages of women engaged in IGA doubled in the treatment group. Women’s savings also increased significantly during this time. However, taking a loan for future endeavour decreased. The monthly income from IGA of the treatment group almost doubled (now around 4,244 Taka) from the baseline but it does not statistically differ significantly from the control group. Other empowerment indicators such as women’s decision-making ability, mobility and knowledge on gender changed a little within a year. However, the empowerment indicators were still not significantly different from the control group.