Research in Brief 110

Increased attention has been paid to the gender dimensions of taxation; however, there has been limited research on the subject, particularly in lower-income contexts. Understanding how tax policy and administration in lower-income countries affect women’s ability to participate in the workforce and carry out care work is critical for ensuring development with gender justice. This paper reviews the existing literature and related debates on gender and tax in lower-income countries, identifying knowledge gaps and mapping broader issues relevant to understanding the gendered impacts of taxation.

The authors show that tax policies can be made gender-neutral by paying greater attention to how they affect women differently. At the same time, governments can explore policies that positively discriminate as a means of addressing structural gendered inequalities. While the authors draw attention to the importance of engendering taxation, they recognise that tax policy may not always be the most appropriate way to address underlying gender inequalities and implicit tax biases. Nevertheless, an awareness of how tax policy and administration affects gender is necessary to ensure a more equal and progressive tax system.


Anuradha Joshi

Anuradha Joshi is a social scientist with a PhD in Public Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA with extensive experience in policy processes and institutional analysis. She is also a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Her research interests lie in state-society relationships around the delivery of public services and accountability.

Jalia Kangave

Jalia Kangave holds a PhD in Law from the University of British Columbia, and has over decade of experience in the fields of taxation, law, and international development. She previously served as the Principal of the East African School of Taxation in Uganda, worked as a tax consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers Uganda, and was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. Dr Kangave is the lead consultant for the International Centre for Tax and Development’s research programme on gender and taxation.

Vanessa van den Boogaard

Vanessa van den Boogaard is a Research Fellow at the ICTD and a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. She completed her PhD thesis on informal revenue generation and statebuilding in Sierra Leone, and has ongoing research on the topic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. Vanessa leads the ICTD’s new programme on civil society engagement in tax reform and co-leads the research programme on informal taxation.
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