Keynote Speakers


Gender equality, economic growth and women’s agency: a feminist reading of ‘randomista’ economics.

Naila Kabeer, International Development and Gender Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science.

In October this year, Esther Duflo became the second woman to win the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer also recognised for their research alleviating poverty. This talk will invite a timely engagement/critique of Duflo’s paper on gender equality and development more generally critique the kind of theorizing that the ‘Randomistas’ engage in.

Naila Kabeer Profile Pic

Naila Kabeer is joint Professor of Gender and International Development in the Departments of International Development and Gender Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

She has extensive experience in research, teaching and training in relation to gender, poverty,  labour markets, livelihoods, social protection and collective action. Books and reports on these topics include Mainstreaming Gender and Social Protection in the Informal Economy  (Commonwealth Secretariat/Routledge), Gender, livelihood capabilities and women’s economic empowerment: reviewing evidence over the life course (Overseas Development Institute, 2019) and  Organizing women in the informal economy: beyond the weapons of the weak  (Zed Press, 2013).

She sits on the Editorial Board of Feminist Economics has also done advisory work for a number of bilateral and multilateral organizations including UNDP, World Bank, UN Women, DFID, SIDA, NORAD and Oxfam, UK

Twitter: @N_Kabeer

LSE: @LSE_ID  @LSEInequalities @LSEGenderTweet



Gender and Work in global value chains: Capturing the Gains?

Stephanie Barrientos,  Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, Manchester 

The products you buy from supermarkets and retailers are sourced globally, mainly from developing countries. Global sourcing depends on hundreds of millions of workers. Many are women, but they face systemic gender discrimination.

This talk asks: How are global retail value chains shaping gender patterns of work? What are the outcomes for workers?  It examines comparative cases from agri-food and apparel in Africa and Asia. It draws on a book of the above title, published by Cambridge University Press (2019).

Women’s skills are critical in global retail value chains, but their contribution is under-valued. Capturing the gains from their work requires bargaining and contestation. Proactive governance is needed to promote gender equitable value chains. 


SBarriento-PhotoStephanie Barrientos is Professor of Global Development at the University of Manchester. 

Stephanie has researched and published widely on gender, agribusiness and employment in global value chains; trade and labour standards; corporate social responsibility, fair and ethical trade. She has undertaken research in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. She led research commissioned by Cadbury Mapping Sustainable Cocoa Production in Ghana and India, which informed Mondelez Cocoa Life (US$400m) programme. She has advised a large number of companies, NGOs, government and international organisations including Body Shop, Cadbury/Mondelez, DFID, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Oxfam, WIEGO, ILO, and UNCTAD.

Stephanie held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2013-16) to write a book: Gender and Work in Global Value Chains: Capturing the Gains? published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. She is Research Lead on the DFID programme (2017-22) Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) in global value chains.

Twitter: @GlobalDevInst