Gender

IDS is well known for its progressive gender research, knowledge sharing and teaching, and for the central role it has played in the conceptual shift from a 'women in development' to a 'gender and development' focus, as well as for critically bringing sexuality and masculinities into gender theory, research and practice.

Bangladesh Pirgonj, Rangpur
A group of young women of receiving computer and management training designed to give them the opportunity to work as freelancers.
Credit: G.M.B. Akash / Panos

We believe that every person - women, men and non-binary people - can play a part in reducing inequalities and helping drive better outcomes for women, and for society as a whole.

This belief underpins our MA Gender and Development course which is one of the longest running and most popular courses on gender and development in the UK. Taught jointly with the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, it situates the study of gender and development within an analytical social science framework, as well as in the context of policymaking and implementation.

Rich history of research and knowledge sharing

With colleagues at Sussex University, IDS has played a prominent part in promoting an approach that put power at the heart of gender and development analysis. Our work in the 1990s turned a feminist lens on attempts to institutionalise gender through 'mainstreaming' and brought new perspectives to debates on gender in relation to land, labour, health, environment and participatory development. And one of our longest running programmes, BRIDGE, has for decades provided accessible and diverse information to bridge the gaps between theory, policy and practice.

Current work includes a focus on women’s economic empowerment; gender, conflict and violence; unpaid care work; masculinities and patriarchy; participation; sexuality and poverty; and health. Our work cuts across all these different thematic areas. You can uncover the links and how our research explores and learns from these interconnections on our Interactions for Gender Justice website.

Exciting new directions for future research on gender & sexuality

Considering the positive and negative influences of current trends on progress or regress in sexual and gender justice terms we have built on past areas of strong work to identify four priority streams for further investigation in the coming years:

  • Women's economic empowerment and migration
  • Men and masculinities for equality, peace and justice
  • Gender, sexuality and digital development
  • Sexuality and poverty

Download our report and help us build a new research agenda for change.

Image credit: Panos / GMB Akash

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Balancing unpaid care work and paid work

The 'Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women's economic empowerment programmes and policies' project aims to create knowledge about how women's economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate paid work that empowers women and provides more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities. More details

Capacity Building for the establishment of an MA in Gender and Development at Cairo University, Egypt

To support Cairo University in establishing and offering a full one-year accredited Professional Diploma or MA in Gender Studies. More details

Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Food Security

This BRIDGE Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Food Security makes the case for a new, gender-aware understanding of food security, arguing that partial, apolitical and gender-blind diagnoses of the problem of food and nutrition insecurity is leading to insufficient policy responses and the failure to realise the right to food for all people. More details

Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Social Movements

The BRIDGE Edge Programme on Gender and Social Movements aims to inspire and support collaborative approaches to mobilisation around shared equity and justice concerns. More details

Democratisation, Decentralisation, Local Governance: IDS-SDC Collaboration

The aim of this third phase of cooperation between IDS and SDC is to share learning and collaborate on policy engagement in priority areas of decentralised and democratic local governance. More details

Ebola: Lessons for development

IDS researchers argue that there is an urgent need to look beyond the immediate, on-the-ground concerns of disease control and containment to consider the bigger and broader questions about international development. More details

Engendering Men: Evidence on Routes to Change for Gender Equality (EMERGE)

Our goal is to enable stronger leadership for working with boys and men to promote gender equality. We will do this by gathering, inter-relating and analysing evidence and lessons. These will be strategically disseminated in targeted and accessible formats for improved learning, policy and practice. More details

Food Security, Gender Equality and Peace-Building: Theoretical Framework and Future Agendas

IDS researchers have been commissioned to generate knowledge and evidence-based, actionable recommendations to governments and other stakeholders on the nexus between support to food and nutrition security and building resilient livelihoods, peace processes and stability, and how to integrate gender issues into appropriate policies and actions related to food and nutrition security in situations where conflict exists, has recently ceased, or is likely to reoccur. More details

Gender mainstreaming from the ground up for the World Food Programme

A participatory action-learning and knowledge sharing programme to improve WFPs gender-mainstreaming practices. More details

GSDRC

GSDRC provide high quality, timely knowledge products to support international development planning, policymaking and other activities area. This includes a document library, a research helpdesk and email bulletins More details

Highlighting the Invisibility of Unpaid Care

This is a three year project explores why unpaid care work is merited little attention in development policy and programming. We are taking an action learning approach to engaging policy actors on unpaid care, tracking the effects, successes and failures of our policy influencing activities. More details

International Climate Fund: Enhancing Capacity to Deliver on Gender

A partnership between Coffey, IDS and RICARDO AEA has been formed to improve mainstreaming and targeting of women and girls in the International Climate Fund. More details

Labour Regulations and Anti-discrimination Legislation

A review of literature on the impact of labour regulations and anti-discrimination legislation on gender quality in employment in developing countries. More details

Market Based Solutions for the Extreme Poor

Studies have shown that it is often wealthier people in a community who benefit from market approaches to combatting poverty – men more than women, non-disabled more than disabled. So how and to what extent can market-based solutions improve the lives of extremely poor people? More details

Masculinities and Transition

The project will explore the experiences of men and shifting constructions of masculinities in current ‘transition countries’ More details

Men, Masculinities and HIV

The Men, Masculinities and HIV project is one of the workstreams of the Gender, Power and Sexuality (GPS) programme, funded by Sida. This work stream aims to influence norms and institutions at global and local levels to more effectively tackle the challenge of achieving gender equality, and particularly looking at the role of men in this process. More details

Participation and Gender Justice: Political Empowerment

This project is part of the Gender, Power and Sexuality Programme, funded by Sida. The project is working on two parallel initiatives, firstly, exploring political empowerment programmes for women and secondly, engaging with the international community to challenge and expose gendered forms of violence, particularly when this is politically motivated. More details

Programme Partnership between Irish Aid and IDS on Social Protection and Food Security and Nutrition

The Programme Partnership between Irish Aid and the Institute of Development Studies focuses on social protection and food and nutrition. The collaboration brings together research and capacity development with policy, programmatic and influencing know-how to support action that more effectively reduces poverty and injustice. More details

Pro-Poor Electricity Provision

This programme will develop and promote evidence-based policy and programme guidance on low carbon energy investments to benefit poor people, especially women and girls. More details

Quantifying the Impact of Women’s Participation in Peace Building

Review existing evidence on the importance of women’s activities in local peace-building processes, and on the impact of policy interventions aimed at supporting the social, economic and political roles that women play in peace-building processes. More details

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Ideas from IDS: Graduate Papers from 2016/17

Paper (2018)

It gives me great pleasure to present this first edition of published term papers authored by IDS graduates (2016/17) from across our suite of master’s degrees. More details

This is the front cover to the IDS Disability Briefing 1, 'Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Persons with Disabilities'.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Persons With Disabilities

IDS Disability Briefing 1 (2018)

The World Health Organization estimates that 15 per cent of the world’s population have a disability and that a higher prevalence of disability occurs among people in lower-income countries. More details

Maintenance Affordances and Structural Inequalities: Mobile Phone Use by Low-Income Women in the United Kingdom

This article shows the impact of “maintenance affordances” on women’s capabilities to use mobile phones to lead lives they value. More details

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Wellbeing and Protracted Urban Displacement: Refugees and Hosts in Jordan and Lebanon

The war in Syria, now in its eighth year, has led to the mass exodus of the Syrian people. Lebanon and Jordan have achieved a remarkable feat by hosting millions of refugees, with many having located to urban areas, where the great majority of local populations are already situated. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Political Space for Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? More details

Menstrual Hygiene Management in Humanitarian Emergencies

Until recently the issue of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for women and girls in emergencies had been somewhat overlooked by agencies engaged in humanitarian response. More details

Introduction: Sexualities [Gender & Development]

Gender & Development 26.1 (2018)

This issue of Gender & Development addresses Sexualities. More details

Keeping African Girls in School with Better Sanitary Care

For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school. More details

ESRC-DFID Research for Policy and Practice: Women's Life Choices

This collection of ESRC-DFID-funded research identifies critical elements that are important to address if women’s and girls’ lives are to change for the better. The research looks at the mobility constraints experienced by girls and how a lack of access to means of transport hampers their access to paid work, health services, and schooling. More details

Women-initiated measures to cope with environmental stresses and climate change in South Asia

This review gives a number of examples of women-initiated measures to cope with climate change and environmental stresses in South Asia. More details

Non-IDS publication

Women and Peacebuilding: Local Perspectives on Opportunities and Barriers

Development and Change (2018)

This article discusses new qualitative evidence on the opportunities and barriers to women's participation in peace-building processes, based on a comparative analysis of case studies conducted in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. More details

VAWG Legislation - Helpdesk Research Report

The purpose of this VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Helpdesk paper is to provide a brief overview of what types of legislative reform are most effective in protecting women and girls from VAWG. More details

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Gender and Intersecting Inequalities in Local Government in South Asia

IDS Working Paper 507 (2018)

This paper is an evidence review of how intersecting forms of inequalities influence women’s political participation and representation at the local level in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. More details

Does Intimate Partner Violence Decline as Women’s Empowerment Becomes Normative? Perspectives of Bangladeshi Women.

World Development 101 (2018)

The aim of this study is to clarify the relationship between women’s empowerment and IPV in a setting where gender roles are rapidly changing and IPV rates are high. More details

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No Time to Rest: Women’s Lived Experiences of Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work

Synthesis Report (2017)

This report provides evidence on the lived experiences of women in low-income families, as they strive to balance their paid work and unpaid care work responsibilities. It presents the findings of a mixed-methods research project carried out in India, Nepal, Rwanda, and Tanzania during 2015–17. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Making Women Development Fund More Care-Responsive

This note discusses the main findings of research into the care-sensitivity of the Women Development Fund. The fund was established by the Government of Tanzania in 1992 to support the economic empowerment of women, and especially rural women. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Oxfam’s Food Security for Tanzania Farmers Programme: Guidelines for Achieving the Double Boon

This note discusses the main findings of the research into the care-sensitivity of the Oxfam Food Security for Tanzania Farmers programme (2012–15). More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working paper 500, 'A Trapeze Act: Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work by Women in Nepal'.

A Trapeze Act: Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work by Women in Nepal

IDS Working Paper 500 (2017)

This working paper seeks to examine the relationship between unpaid care work and paid work that women in low-income households in Nepal perform, and whether, and if so how, they are able to maintain a balance between the two. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A Trapeze Act: Women Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work in Nepal

Research discussed in this report looks at two Women's Economic Empowerment programmes in Nepal and makes recommendations at state, non-state, market, community and family levels. More details

IDS publications on international development research

‘My Work Never Ends’: Women Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work in India

A study of two Women's Economic Empowerment programmes in India: the state-run Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and the non-state Self Employed Women’s Association in Madhya Pradesh (SEWA MP). More details

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