She is a mix of a theorist as well as a practitioner. Ashwani Deshpande’s work revolves around the economics of discrimination with focus on caste, gender and affirmative action. She is a firm believer that whether it is farms, livestock rearing or running grocery stores, the success of most such family enterprises is on the backs of unpaid family labour by women. The UNU-WIDER’s research project Women’s work – routes to economic and social empowerment has immensely benefitted from her accomplishments. Her focus remains on improving opportunities for women to enhance their economic empowerment. This, in addition, to the creation of processes of economic development and social change that positively impact women’s labour market outcomes.