Gender violence

Gender-based violence describes acts which result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, according to the United Nations. It is a global issue, affecting thousands. Women and girls are the most vulnerable to this form of violence but increasingly men and boys are also affected. Tackling gender-based violence requires attention to a number of interrelated areas, including prevention, treatment and legal frameworks.

Uganda, Amuru. Third day of 16 days of activism against gender violence - women demonstrate to demand an end to violence against women. Image credit: Panos

At IDS we believe that work to end gender-based violence will be more successful if it harnesses the power of collective action. Organised activism against gender-based violence is a key way of creating transformative change on attitudes, norms and behaviours, as well as pushing for change in policy and practice.

In our research, we specifically explore:

Interactions: real-time research on gender-based violence

Interactions is an IDS-hosted interactive online resource on Empowering Women and Girls, featuring real-time research and analysis.

The website provides background information on definitions and prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV), examples of some of the most successful interventions and programmes designed to tackle GBV, and an explanation of collective action and its importance in addressing GBV. There is also a list of key reading on the topic, as well as selected case studies gathered in our research.

Key resources from IDS

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

Domestic Violence in Ghana: Prevalence, Incidence and Causes

Providing an in-depth understanding of determinants of domestic violence in Ghana, to strengthen advocacy and advance legal, policy and programmatic interventions aimed at countering domestic violence in Ghana. 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

Gender Based Violence in the Gaza Strip After Israeli Operation 'Protective Edge’

The proposed research attempts to contribute to our knowledge of VAW incidence and prevalence as well as responses, coping strategies and mechanisms of support in the five governorates in Gaza 2015. More details

Interactions Eldis Website

Interactions is an IDS-hosted interactive online resource on Empowering Women and Girls, featuring real-time research and analysis. The website features up-to-the minute research findings and policy analysis on gender-based violence, urban health and unpaid care work from IDS and partners 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

Pathways of Women's Empowerment Research Programme Consortium

Pathways is a research and communication programme which seeks to discover where women are achieving real gains despite or because of policy and practice. It looks at how this has happened, and aims to make these pathways visible so that we can build on these revealed successes. More details

Sexuality and Development Programme (2007-11)

Supporting the realisation of sexual rights and access to basic services for those facing poverty and injustice More details

Tackling Gender-Based Violence in Gaza

This project, funded through IIED's Urban Humanitarian Crises accountable grant, seeks to explore the relationships between occupation violence and sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) in the Gaza strip within the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). More details

Womens Economic Inequality and VAWG consultancy

In this consultancy, Marinella Leone is developing evidence to support arguments and recommendations made in the ActionAid report exploring the interlinkages between women’s economic inequality/ neoliberal policies and Violence against women and girls (VAWG). More details

View all Research Theme's publications

Use this search to display this theme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


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Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in Gaza

This working paper presents the findings of a research project on the protection of women against violence in the context of urban humanitarian crises. More details

This is the front cover of MAVC Research Report Feasibility and acceptability of a mobile phone intervention to improve post-rape service delivery in South Africa.

Feasibility and acceptability of a mobile phone intervention to improve post-rape service delivery in South Africa

MAVC Research Report (2017)

Mobile health (mHealth) interventions – in which mobile phones are used to advance positive health outcomes – have only recently been applied to addressing broader questions of health governance. More details

Wp488_FrontCover

The Role of Social and Political Action in Advancing Women’s Rights, Empowerment, and Accountability to Women

IDS Working Paper 488 (2017)

Through the lens of four case studies focused on women’s political participation (Palestine and Sierra Leone), and the passage of domestic violence law (Brazil and South Africa), this paper looks at the role of social and political action in advancing women’s rights. More details

Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in Urban Humanitarian Crises: The Case of Gaza

Gaza, a mostly urban and densely populated area, chronically experiences complex emergencies, with bouts of acute violence. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is aggravated by the exposure to ongoing and acute political violence. More details

Domestic Violence in Ghana: Incidence, Attitudes, Determinants and Consequences

This study represents a comprehensive attempt to estimate the incidence of domestic violence in Ghana, and analyse the attitudes that sustain domestic violence, its determinants and its consequences. More details

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Therapeutic Activism: Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda Breaking the Silence over Male Rape in Conflict-related Sexual Violence

IDS Evidence Report 182 (2016)

Men’s experiences as victims of sexual and gender-based violence remain little recognised in research, policy or practice. Mainstream narratives generally continue to depict men as perpetrators of violence and women as victims. More details

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Engaging Men for Effective Activism against Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Policy Briefing 108 (2016)

Men are becoming ever more visible as integral partners in tackling sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), holding themselves, peers and power-holders accountable for maintaining harmful gender norms that perpetuate violence. More details

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Building Alliances to Address Sexual and Gender-based Violence

IDS Policy Briefing 105 (2015)

It is now widely accepted that effective strategies to end sexual and gender-based violence must engage with men and boys. In practice, however, the relationship between traditional women’s rights movements and organisations working on engaging men and boys is an uneasy one. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Violence against Women in the Gaza Strip: After the Israeli Military Operation Protective Edge 2014

Following the Israeli military Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, this reports presents the findings of a study initiated by ActionAid and Alianza por la Solidaridad (Alianza) on violence against women (VAW) in the Gaza Strip. More details

PB104_FrontCover

Towards More Inclusive Strategies to Address Gender-Based Violence

IDS Policy Briefing 104 (2015)

Sexual and gender-based violence is persistent and devastating, rooted deeply in the lives of men, women, boys and girls globally. Gendered violence does not exist in isolation, and is intertwined with other forms of power, privilege and social exclusion. More details

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‘They Call Me Warrior’: The Legacy of Conflict and the Struggle to End Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Sierra Leone

IDS Evidence Report 155 (2015)

A relatively small country with just over 6 million people, Sierra Leone has been the focus of considerable public and policy attention because of the recent Ebola epidemic and, before that, the decade-long civil war. Given the concern with finding ways to ‘build Sierra Leone differently’ in the post-Ebola context (IDS 2015), this paper considers some of the legacies of the country’s history. More details

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The New ‘MASVAW Men’: Strategies, Dynamics and Deepening Engagements. A Case Study of a Networked Approach to Challenging Patriarchy Across Institutions in Uttar Pradesh

IDS Evidence Report 143 (2015)

Uttar Pradesh is ranked second among Indian states in ‘crimes against women’, which includes rape, abduction, dowry-related deaths, mental and physical torture and sexual harassment (Government of Uttar Pradesh 2006: 130). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection Programmes Supporting Women Survivors of Domestic Violence

This rapid review presents lessons learnt from social protection/cash transfer programmes which target women survivors of domestic/family violence. As a result of the impact of domestic violence, women survivors of violence often require the support of social protection programmes More details

This is the cover to IDS Research Report 78, '‘It May Approach as Quickly as a Bushfire': Gendered Violence and Insecurity in South Sudan'.

'It May Approach as Quickly as a Bushfire': Gendered Violence and Insecurity in South Sudan

IDS Research Report 78 (2014)

This research report presents the findings of case study research in Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan, carried out within the Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency (PVCA) programme. More details

ER70 Front Cover

Men in Collective Action on SGBV in Kenya: A Case Study

IDS Evidence Report 70 (2014)

This case study examines the ways in which collective action and the involvement of men may influence the prospects of effectively changing community perceptions and values regarding sexual and gender-based violence, and how it may strengthen the overall response to the problem in Kenya. More details

ER67 Front Cover

Maternal Mental Health in the Context of Community-based Home Visiting in a Re-engineered Primary Health Care System: A Case Study of the Philani Mentor Mothers Programme

IDS Evidence Report 67 (2014)

This document constitutes a briefing summary of the case study of a maternal mental health intervention in South Africa, the Philani Mentor Mothers Programme. More details

ER73 Front Cover

Agency and Citizenship in a Context of Gender-based Violence

IDS Evidence Report 73 (2014)

This pilot evaluation explores how citizenship and agency among social activists can be fostered in contexts of urban violence at the local level. More details

ER62 Front Cover

The Shifting Roles of Men in Collective Action on SGBV in Kenya: Report of a Movement and Influence Mapping Workshop, Nairobi, 3–5 July 2013

IDS Evidence Report 62 (2014)

Over a decade and a half on from the landmark declarations of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (UN 1994) and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (UN 1995), there is now a growing consensus on the importance of engaging men and boys in efforts to stop violence against women and girls. More details

This is the image of IDS Bulletin 45.1, 'Undressing Patriarchy: Men and Structural Violence'.

Undressing Patriarchy: Men and Structural Violence

IDS Bulletin 45.1 (2014)

It explores the shifting field of men and masculinities and how often conflicted engagements with the feminist project of redressing gender inequalities might be radicalised through a deeper analysis of patriarchy and our relationship to it, as well as by linking it to other struggles for sexual and human rights, or social justice. More details

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