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 27-month '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

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

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

Programme Partnership between Irish Aid and IDS on Hunger Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

Four years on from Irish Aid's landmark Hunger Task Force Report, hunger reduction remains an enormous challenge. This will become more difficult in the context of resource scarcity, climate change, and an increased demand for food in the emerging economies. 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

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


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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

Front cover of Bulletin 39.3, Unsafe Abortion: A Development Issue

Unsafe Abortion: A Development Issue

IDS Bulletin 39.3 (2008)

Abortion has become an ever more controversial issue, provoking strong reactions both 'for' and 'against'. Language used in disputes over whether or not women should have access to safe and legal abortion indicates just how polarised debates have become: pro-choice versus pro-life; pro-abortion versus anti-choice. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Women and Fish-for-Sex: Transactional Sex, HIV/AIDS and Gender in African Fisheries

World Development 36(5) (2008)

This paper analyzes the phenomenon of fish-for-sex in small-scale fisheries and discusses its apparent links to HIV/AIDS and transactional sex practices. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sexuality Matters (Portuguese version)

IDS Bulletin 37.5 (2008)

The issue shows why sexuality matters. Drawing on the inspiring ‘Realising Sexual Rights’ workshop held at IDS in 2005, the resulting innovative articles here provide diverse accounts of sexual rights conceptions, mobilisation, and new approaches to implementation. This is a first for IDS – both to host such an event and to produce an IDS Bulletin on this theme. More details

IDS Working Paper

The Vulnerability of 'Self-Help': Women and Microfinance in South India

IDS Working Paper 303 (2008)

Self-help groups (SHGs) play a major role in providing microfinance in India. But they do not work alone. State institutions are also a big part of the microfinance landscapeSelf-help groups (SHGs) play a major role in providing microfinance in India. But they do not work alone. State institutions are also a big part of the microfinance landscape. They promote and finance SHGs, and also interact directly with them. How does this kind of 'institutionalised co-production' in service delivery work in practice?. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Development with a Body: Sexuality, Human Rights and Development

This book offers compelling insights into contemporary challenges and transformative possibilities of the struggle for sexual rights. It combines the conceptual with the political, and offering inspiring examples of practical interventions and campaigns that emphasize the positive dimensions of sexuality. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Men, Sex and HIV: Directions for Politicising Masculinities

IDS In Focus 4 (2008)

Gender inequalities are shaping how the HIV epidemic evolves and in order to engage men as 'part of the solution' we must deal with issues of male power. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Global Perspectives on Gender Equality: Reversing the Gaze

The Nordic countries have long been seen as pioneers in promoting gender equality. The book brings together scholars from the global South and post-socialist economies to reflect on Nordic approaches to gender equality. More details

Changing Narratives of Sexuality - Concept Paper

This concept paper focuses on the politics of sexuality. Its focus is on the normative construction of heterosexuality in mainstream narratives of sexuality produced by institutions such as the media, the law, religion and the development industry; by cultural arenas such as popular music and soap operas, as well as for counter narratives produced by women themselves. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Paid Work, Women's Empowerment and Gender Justice: Critical Pathways of Social Change

This paper explores the contradictions and contestations that characterise debates about the relationship between paid work and women’s empowerment. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sexuality Matters (Spanish version)

IDS Bulletin 37.5 (2008)

This IDS Bulletin addresses a theme that mainstream development has persistently neglected: sexuality. Over the last decade, development policymakers and practitioners have come to endorse a multi-dimensional approach to poverty, and growing attention has been placed on achieving greater freedom, wellbeing and human rights for all. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Combining Microfinance and Training on Gender and HIV – A Proven Approach to Reduce Poverty and Halve Violence Against Women

This paper underscores the potential of microfinance to change the structural dimensions of poor people's lives. It presents findings and lessons from a successful Intervention with microfinance for AIDS and gender equity (IMAGE) partnership between Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) and Rural AIDS and Development Action Research (RADAR) in South Africa. More details

IDS Research Summary

Using Microfinance to Fight Poverty, Empower Women and Address Gender-based Violence and HIV

IDS Research Summary (2008)

This article provides evidence from rural South Africa on microfinance's ability to reduce poverty and bring about broader social change. It describes the Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and gender Equity (IMAGE) project jointly conducted by the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) and the Rural Aids and Development Action Research (RADAR) Program. More details

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