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

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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

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

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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View all Research Theme's publications

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


PB71 Front Cover

Tackling Urban Violence in Mumbai and Cape Town through Citizen Engagement and Community Action

IDS Policy Briefing 71 (2014)

Urban violence is an urgent and growing problem in many cities across the world. It comes in a multitude of forms such as gender-based violence, gangs and drug-related violence, police violence, religious riots, vigilante groups, and others. 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

IDS publications on international development research

Putting the Law in its Place: Analyses of recent developments in law relating to same-sex desire in India and Uganda

This collection of essays has been jointly produced by Sexuality Policy Watch and the IDS Sexuality and Development Programme. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Integrated Programmes Supporting Adolescent Girls

This rapid review provides examples of integrated programmes that support adolescent girls. These are programmes which provide integrated support across multiple sectors or activities at once, e.g. covering aspects such as health, education, economic empowerment, preventing violence, forced marriage, etc. 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

IDS publications on international development research

Non-food Items (NFIs) and the Needs of Women and Girls in Emergencies

Emergencies disrupt daily life and often cause the displacement of populations, with the loss of many of their possessions. More details

This is the cover for the book Changing Narratives of Sexuality.

Changing Narratives of Sexuality

Changing Narratives of Sexuality engages with women's sexuality exploring marginal as well as dominant stories in which sexuality may figure overtly or covertly as the subject. This impressive collection brings together a broad range of arenas in which sexuality is embedded. More details

This is the cover for IDS Working Paper 442, 'The Politics of Mobilising for Gender Justice in Egypt from Mubarak to Morsi and Beyond'.

The Politics of Mobilising for Gender Justice in Egypt from Mubarak to Morsi and Beyond

IDS Working Paper 442 (2014)

This paper examines the nature of the political struggle over the status, role and identity of women in Egypt in between the two revolutions (January 2011 and June 2013). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sexuality and Social Justice: A Toolkit

This free interactive toolkit documents the learning from the Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme at the Institute for Development Studies. More details

This is the cover for the book Women in Politics: Gender, Power and Development.

Women in Politics: Gender, Power and Development

Women the world over are being prevented from engaging in politics. Women’s political leadership of any sort is a rarity and a career in politics rarer still. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Gender Inequality and Maternal and Child Nutrition in Northern Nigeria

ORIE Research Summary 5 (2014)

This summary provides an overview of how gender inequality impacts maternal and child nutrition in Northern Nigeria. 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

IDS publications on international development research

Gender in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations

This rapid review collates a large amount of literature published in 2013 and 2014 (up to April 2014) on the topic of gender in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS). It is not a systematic or exhaustive review, but does provide a comprehensive overview of the literature available More details

IDS publications on international development research

Gender Activism must be taken out of Posh Hotels and into the Mainstream

The Guardian 24th March 2014 (2014)

We need to challenge the structural sources of inequalities inherent in policies, laws, institutional mechanisms and thinking. However, there remains something very disconcerting about how the integration of gender into development has left it disconnected from the public. 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 cover for the book Feminisms, Empowerment and Development.

Feminisms, Empowerment and Development

The economic and political empowerment of women continues to be a central focus for development agencies worldwide; access to medical care, education and employment, as well as women's reproductive rights remain key factors effecting women's autonomy. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Evidence for the Sustainable Scale-up of Low-cost Private Schools in South West Asia

This systematic review conducted on behalf of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) examines the evidence regarding the sustainable scale-up of low-cost private primary schools in South and West Asia, in particular Afghanistan and Pakistan. More details

ER54 Front Cover

Unpaid Care Work Programme: Nepal Progress Report (2012–13)

IDS Evidence Report 54 (2014)

This report covers the progress of the programme in Nepal over the first year and a half of the four-year programme. For a programme aimed at influencing national policy, it is critical to understand the political economy context of Nepal. More details

This is the cover of the book Voicing Demands: Feminist Activism in Transitional Contexts.

Voicing Demands: Feminist Activism in Transitional Contexts

Voicing Demands is a collection of analytical narratives of what has happened to feminist voice, a key pathway to women’s empowerment. More details

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