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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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

Growth and Equal Opportunities for Women (GrOW)

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

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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IDS publications on international development research

Innovations from the Field: Gender mainstreaming from the ground up for the World Food Programme

Synthesis report from Phase One (June 2013 – September 2014) of the WFP gender-mainstreaming programme. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Engendering Men: A Collaborative Review of Evidence on Men and Boys in Social Change and Gender Equality

The evidence review, combined with other project elements, aims to cultivate stronger leadership for working with boys and men to promote gender equality. More details

IDS publications on international development research

ORIE Nigeria Gender Synthesis Report: Gender-related findings across ORIE studies (Year Three)

Gender inequality and child mortality, morbidity and malnutrition are inextricably linked. Data collected in ORIE’s research and evaluation studies throw light on the links between the low status and autonomy of women, low uptake of nutrition services, and poor child health outcomes, in four states of Northern Nigeria. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2015

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs April 2014 – March 2015

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2015)

In much writing about development, policy and practice are portrayed as if they are joined at the hip. Policy shapes practice, while learning from practice informs policy processes. In this portrayal, practice is usually understood to refer to development practice, or how development programmes and projects are implemented. More details

ER143_FrontCover

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

This is the front cover to the book, 'Gender Equality and Sustainable Development'.

Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

For pathways to be truly sustainable and advance gender equality and the rights and capabilities of women and girls, those whose lives and well-being are at stake must be involved in leading the way. More details

IDS publications on international development research

ORIE infographic: greater autonomy for women will improve child health and nutrition in Northern Nigeria

How will greater gender equality contribute to better child health and nutrition in Northern Nigeria? Using ORIE data collected in Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara this infographic makes a convincing argument that greater decision-making power and control over resources for women can translate into better health and nutrition outcomes for children and their mothers. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 46.4, 'Beijing+20: Where Now for Gender Equality?.

Beijing+20: Where Now for Gender Equality?

IDS Bulletin 46.4 (2015)

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), celebrated by feminist activists as a triumph for women's rights, is 20 years old. The world that it once described has changed profoundly in some respects, and yet in others remains surprisingly similar. This IDS Bulletin reflects on those changes and continuities, tracing the trajectories of the Beijing conference in different policy arenas, national settings and domains of practice. More details

Front Cover Frontiers MHM. Photograph on front is: A School in Tororo District, Uganda. Credit: Plan Internation

Breaking the Next Taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS

Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights 6 (2015)

Menstruation is a natural and healthy part of the life of women and girls, but is often a taboo subject, not easily talked about, which can lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame. It can also lead to girls losing attention at school or missing days from school. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Effect of Gender Equality Programming on Humanitarian Outcomes

This UN Women report presents the overall findings, draws comparative conclusions across the four case studies and discusses practical recommendations for integrating gender equality programming in future humanitarian interventions in ways that strengthen effectiveness and inclusiveness. More details

IDS Evidence Report 137 Front Cover

Constitutional Reforms and Access to HIV Services for Women in Low-resource Settings in Nairobi, Kenya

IDS Evidence Report 137 (2015)

After more than two decades of agitation for a new constitution, the violence that followed Kenya’s 2007 presidential elections finally led to a reform movement to overhaul the way the country was governed. On 4 August 2010, voters approved a new Constitution by a clear majority, reflecting a widespread desire for change. More details

This is the cover of the Sexuality and Development Workshop Report,

Experiments in using Drama and Theatre to look at Sexuality and Oppression

As part of the Sexuality and Development Programme at IDS, a project was undertaken to explore the application of drama and theatre to research into sexualities. Three workshops were undertaken in Uganda, India and UK to work with different groups working in the areas of gender and sexualities. More details

Front cover of Frontiers of CLTS number 5 by Sarah House and Sue Cavill

Making Sanitation and Hygiene Safer: Reducing Vulnerabilities to Violence

This issue of Frontiers of CLTS focuses on the issue of safety and vulnerabilities to violence that women, girls and sometimes boys and men can face which are related to sanitation and hygiene. More details

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Unpaid Care Work Programme: Uganda Country Progress Report (2012–2014)

IDS Evidence Report 126 (2015)

Uganda is one of three focus countries within the Unpaid Care Work (UCW) programme of the Accountable Grant. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is partnering with ActionAid International (AAI) to help each of the three country programmes involved to develop and implement an advocacy strategy to make unpaid care work more visible in public policy. More details

ER121_FrontCover

Does War Empower Women? Evidence from Timor Leste

IDS Evidence Report 121 (2015)

Conflicts may change the material conditions and the incentives individuals face through death, displacement and other consequences of violence. Being a victim of a war can also profoundly change individual beliefs, values and preferences (Bellows and Miguel 2009). More details

This is the cover to the report 'Resue and Real Love: Same-sex Desire in International'.

Rescue, and Real Love: Same-sex Desire in International Development

IDS Report (2015)

Fifteen years ago, there was little space within international development policy circles within which we could talk about sexual rights, desire or pleasure. More details

This is the cover for the BRIDGE Cutting Edge pack on Social Movements.

Bridge Gender and Social Movements Cutting Edge Programme: Stories of Influence

Report (2015)

This story of influence provides an evaluation of the Bridge Gender and Social Movements Cutting Edge Programme carried out under the Sida sponsored Gender, Power and Sexuality programme. More details

This is the cover to Stories of Influence: Pathways to Women's Empowerment.

Pathways of Women's Empowerment: Stories of Influence

Report (2015)

This report explores the strand of work developed by the Pathways of Women's Empowerment programme under the IDS Gender, Power and Sexuality Programme supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). It demonstrates how Pathways' existing work related to the overarching programme's emphasis on linking local voices to global arenas to influence policy discourses on gender justice. More details

This is the cover to Stories of Influence: Making Care Visible.

Making Care Visible: Influencing Story on Policy Change on Unpaid Care Work

Report (2015)

This story of influence provides the background to how the unpaid care strand of the Sida sponsored IDS Gender, Power and Sexuality programme has been working with partners in South and South East Asia and in international civil society and policy spaces to raise the visibility of women's unpaid care work as a key issue for development policy and practice. More details

Front cover of 'Streams of Influence: Understanding our Influence on Gender, Power and Sexuality'

Streams of Influence: Understanding our Influence on Gender, Power and Sexuality

Report (2015)

The Streams of Influence report for the IDS Gender, Power and Sexuality Programme supported by the Swedish International Development Agency has been written for the purpose of supporting the programme in the process of learning about influencing, helping partners to unpack their understandings of change and where and how the programme has had influence. More details

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