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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Photo of Adrian Bannister from IDS Knowledge Services More details

IDS Alum More details

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Photo of Deepta Chopra, IDS Governance and Gender / Sexuality Research Fellow More details

Photo of Deepta Chopra, IDS Governance and Gender / Sexuality Research Fellow More details

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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

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

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

Sexuality and Local Voices

The Sexuality and Development project is one of the workstreams of the Gender, Power and Sexuality (GPS) Programme, funded by Sida. More details

Voices for Change 'Gender Hub'

IDS knowledge-sharing professionals are developing a prototype e-hub for gender experts in Nigeria More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Sexuality and Development

Development 52.1 (2009)
IDS Research Summary

Women’s Livelihoods, Global Markets and Citizenship (Research Summary)

IDS Research Summary of IDS Working Paper 336 (2009)

This research analyses Project Shakti, a Hindustan Unilever Limited initiative (HUL), to answer questions on how the local marketing of goods, globally produced by multinational corporations (MNCs) affects rural women, their identities and their claims to rights. Does this economic model increase livelihood opportunities for the poor and hitherto excluded? More details

Bulletin 40.1 cover image

Disrupting Pathways of Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Ideology and Practice

IDS Bulletin 40.1 (2009)

This article examines pathways to intergenerational transmission of gender values, norms and ideology with a particular focus on contexts where there is a strong intersection between gender and poverty. More details

Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism

Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism

IDS Bulletin 39.6 (2008)

The focus of this IDS Bulletin is particularly apposite at a time when much-cherished axioms are being re-inspected and where new possibilities and directions are so badly needed. More details

Front cover of Bulletin 39.5, Children, AIDS and Development Policy

Children, AIDS and Development Policy

IDS Bulletin 39.5 (2008)

Across the hardest-hit countries of sub-Saharan Africa the HIV/AIDS epidemic is causing immense distress and impoverishment to children. In this region alone, some 12 million are estimated to have lost one or both parents to the disease, but this headline figure misrepresents and understates the magnitude of the problem. More details

This is the image for our Research Summaries

Winning Women's Rights in Morocco

IDS Research Summary (2008)

This Research Summary explores how the Moroccan women’s movement, which had been active since the late 1950’s, successfully strengthened women’s rights by demanding the reform of the Moudawana, or Personal Status Code, a legal code governing the roles of men and women within the family. More details

Front cover of Bulletin 39.4, Poverty in a Changing Climate

Poverty in a Changing Climate

IDS Bulletin 39.4 (2008)

Climate change gets attention across the world. IPCC findings call for radical limits to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations responsible for human-induced climate change. More details

IDS Working Paper

Building Identity While Managing Disadvantage: Peruvian Transgender Issue

IDS Working Paper 310 (2008)

Sexuality issues have gained considerable discursive space in the last two decades in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Egyptian Women Activists without a Movement

Egyptian women have not retreated from activism altogether. Women workers were the first to strike and female students have been just as active and defiant as their male counterparts. A significant proportion of the property tax workers participating in the sit-ins were women; even the Bedouin women of Sinai have risen to demand freedom for their family members incarcerated after terrorist bombings in 2004. But women have been less active on behalf of explicitly feminist causes. More details

IDS Working Paper

Streetwalkers Show the Way: Reframing the Global Debate on Trafficking from Sex Workers’ Perspectives

IDS Working Paper 309 (2008)

This paper documents action research and discussions on trafficking by Durbar, a network of 60,000 female, male and transgender sex workers in India. Durbar finds that the realities of trafficking as experienced by sex workers are very different from the myths. More details

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