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Economic life involves more than buying and selling things. The economic lives of women and men around the world are diverse – in the kinds of activities they engage in, the motivations that prioritize their choices, and the institutional and cultural contexts that can both narrow or enrich their options. In fact, our economic lives, and therefore our economies, are something that we continuously create and recreate through our daily activities. We purposefully chose ‘Gender and Economic Life’ for the title and theme of this research handbook to reflect the interdisciplinary nature and global scope of the topic. We conceptualize economic life as a process of provisioning for well-being. Many of the activities of our daily lives, both paid and unpaid, are part of the process of provisioning for ourselves and those close to us. As such, understanding the ways in which gender relates to economic life requires much more than an understanding of economic theory. The economy does not exist in a vacuum; the economy is embedded in society, so all factors shaping societal behavior shape the economy as well. To understand economic life, then, we must explore the sociocultural norms that shape agency, the political and institutional forces that shape individual opportunity, and the multifaceted linkages (and disconnects) between policy intent and what actually happens ‘on the ground’. Feminist scholarship has long noted that gender is a human construction, one that is created and recreated through our daily lives and activities.

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