By The ideas42 Team

At ideas42, International Women’s Day is an annual reflection of the ways we live our mission to create a more equitable world using behavioral science, on this day and every day.  It also provides a moment to take stock of what we can do in the year ahead. When women aren’t treated equitably, we all fail. 

In 2024, women around the world still face many barriers to equal educational, economic, and social opportunities. They have fewer opportunities to make informed decisions about their health, less access to health services, and as a result, worse health outcomes. 

When women are excluded from efforts to remove these barriers, or discounted in the design of solutions, efforts to change aren’t as effective, and are sometimes even counterproductive. But behavioral science can go a long way to #InspireInclusion and change the contexts that lead to policies, programs, products, and services that fail, or even discriminate against, women around the world. It can help #InspireInclusion across a range of complex problems that directly and often disproportionately impact women.

Succeeding, and ultimately creating a better, more equitable world that reflects the complex realities of women’s lives, will require understanding and valuing women’s inclusion, the timely theme of this year’s IWD campaign.  

Because behavioral design requires taking a closer look at drivers of behaviors, decision-making, and the contexts in which they occur, this approach can #InspireInclusion. Behavioral design can support women, communities, and policy makers working to overcome gender biases, leading to more equitable outcomes across health, wealth, justice, and sustainability. 

Since our inception 15 years ago, we’ve worked around the world in pursuit of making it easier for women to make the best decisions for themselves, and ultimately thrive on their own terms. 

We can harness the power of behavioral science to …

… understand and mitigate the hassles and administrative burdens in public benefits programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), helping more women and their families access nutrition when they need it.

… develop tools that reduce preventable deaths from postpartum hemorrhage during childbirth. In Madagascar, a package of interventions including a well-placed digital countdown timer helped clinic workers deliver life-saving oxytocin when postpartum women need it. 

… pilot light-touch solutions that support young female entrepreneurs. In Liberia, our solutions helped women leverage peer successes to start more businesses in nontraditional sectors.

… strengthen the impact of unconditional cash transfer programs in the Global South, which often provide direct support to women and provide critical means for them to invest in themselves and their families.

… design bold solutions to ensure women are aware of their family planning options and better positioned to make the choices they want. 

… unlock more charitable giving to community-led organizations that are doing the most to tackle gender inequality, in the U.S. and abroad.

… understand the role harmful narratives play in impacting reproductive health outcomes and policies. Across several countries in Africa, our foundational research provides a roadmap to guide the subsequent co-design of impactful and innovative narrative change approaches.

… establish and scale a novel financial heuristics training for busy female micro-entrepreneurs in several countries, allowing them to build financial acumen and skills to grow their own businesses more effectively, providing a path to financial stability.

… reinforce the value of contraceptives during the postpartum period. These solutions encourage providers to counsel women on family planning at various stages, helping women avoid unintended pregnancies that threaten their health and the health of their children. 

We’ll continue to do our part to achieve our mission of creating a more equitable world, and help #InspireInclusion on this International Women’s Day and every day. We’ll do this by designing more evidence-based solutions, in partnership with women and communities around the world, that reflect the complex realities of women’s lives, and can lead to policies, programs, and services that enable women to make the best decisions for themselves. 

Interested in partnering with ideas42 to create better solutions for women around the world? Reach out to us at