Ewig’s research focuses on inequalities gender and race in Latin America, both in political representation and social benefits. Recently, her research has examined whether the rising numbers women and indigenous peoples into political office in Latin America have transformed policy agendas. She has also evaluated Latin American social policy reforms, with a focus on health reforms, for their effects on gender and racial inequalities. Reproductive health policies, including the forced sterilizations in Peru in the 1990s and a survey of abortion policy reforms in the new millennium, have formed part of this research agenda. Ewig directs the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the nation’s first comprehensive teaching, research and outreach center devoted to gender and public policy.
In the News
Assesses whether the left turn led to the political empowerment of indigenous women by comparing the center-right government of Peru with the left-wing governments of Bolivia and Ecuador. Finds that left governments perform better, but among the left, type of left party matters.
Concludes that neoliberal health reforms have brought greater social stratification and, in many ways, have increased gender, racial, and class inequality based on extensive quantitative and qualitative research on Peru's health reforms. But the story is complex, with real progress in some areas and surprising paradoxes in others.
Asks why some left governments in Latin America sought to liberalize access to abortion, while others sought to prohibit it. Shows that type of left matters, with the institutionalized lefts of countries like Chile and Uruguay being more likely to pursue liberalization while populist lefts in countries such as Nicaragua and Ecuador have prevented, or even reversed liberalization efforts.
Assesses the effects of Latin America’s pink tide on gender equality in the region. Finds that left governments and left competition provide an opportunity for advancing gender equality. However, the dominant pattern during Latin America’s pink tide was one of a reactive left.
Develops a novel measure for measuring equity cross-nationally, and finds that the divergent health reforms of Brazil, Chile, and Colombia have all converged toward greater equity. Identifies electoral competition as the key factor that spurred these equity-inducing reforms.