Influencing Policies to Support the Empowerment of Women and Girls

The research programme 'Influencing Policies to Support the Empowerment of Women and Girls' is a collaborative programme with a number of leading research partners across the globe, led by IDS. The project runs for a four-year period from 2012-2016.

The main aim of the research is to examine how to build an enabling environment for the empowerment of women and girls. Specifically, the research is split into three main areas:

Gender-based violence 

Examining how collective action, involving women and men in social movements and coalitions is able to effectively address gender-based violence. In particular it examines the involvement of men and boys in working on issues to do with gender-based violence. Our study countries include Egypt, India, Kenya, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

Urbanisation and health

Understanding the effects of urbanisation and urban environments on the health of women and girls in low-income settings. Examining issues of non-communicable diseases, mental health, sanitation, sex work, infrastructure and HIV. Study countries include South Africa.

Unpaid care

Analysing the conditions under which policy actors recognise or ignore the significance of unpaid care work. Study countries include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda.

Amongst the expected outcomes is greater recognition amongst policy-makers of the importance of unpaid care work and of interventions which build a better environment for women and girls' urban health care. The programme is also be expected to challenge current attitudes to gender based violence.

IDS has long played a prominent part in promoting policies to support the empowerment of women and girls. The Institute is home to BRIDGE, a gender research and communications programme aimed at providing accessible and diverse information to bridge the gaps between theory, policy and practice. IDS also led the Pathways of Women's Empowerment research consortium, with partners in South Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Researchers from right across IDS focus on gender issues and will contribute to this new programme.

Interactions website: Empowerment of Women and Girls

The Interactions website provides real-time research on the empowerment of women and girls. Categorised into three main themes (gender-based violence, urbanisation and health, and unpaid care work), this website provides access to a wealth of resources in connection with this programme. Content includes key issues guides, policy findings, country profiles, case studies, researcher profiles, photo stories and blogs.

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies. More details

View all Research Programme's publications

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


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PB130_FrontCover

Connecting Unpaid and Paid Care Work to Progress Gender Equality

IDS Policy Briefing 130 (2017)

Globally, paid care work, such as care for children or the elderly is a fast-growing sector of the market economy. Yet, it remains undervalued by governments and citizens in both monetary and societal terms which has damaging implications for women’s economic empowerment and gender relations more broadly. More details

ER194_FrontCover

Impact of Community-led Total Sanitation on Women’s Health in Urban Slums: A Case Study from Kalyani Municipality

IDS Evidence Report 194 (2016)

This Evidence Report seeks to understand the health and other impacts of slum women’s access to sanitation through the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. More details

PB117_FrontCover

The Global Importance of Including Mental Health Carers in Policy

IDS Policy Briefing 117 (2016)

Globally, there is growing awareness of the need to prioritise mental health as a development issue, with a historic step achieved by the inclusion of mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals. Less understood is the impact that providing care for people who are struggling with mental illness has on those who provide it. More details

ER122_FrontCover

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

ER110_FrontCover

Improving Access to Health for Women and Girls in Low-income Urban Settlements

IDS Policy Briefing 110 (2016)

The world is becoming increasingly urbanised. Over one third of urban dwellers now reside in low-income urban settlements, where living conditions are often inadequate and there exist multiple barriers to access to health services for women and girls. More details

PB109_FrontCover

Redistributing Unpaid Care Work – Why Tax Matters for Women’s Rights

IDS Policy Briefing 109 (2016)

Globally, women perform the great majority of unpaid care work. This unjust distribution of labour has profound impacts on women’s human rights and is both a product and a driver of gender inequality. More details

PB108_FrontCover

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

PB105_FrontCover

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

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

ER157_FrontCover

‘Who Cares’: Reflections on the International-level Advocacy Work of the Unpaid Care Work Programme (2012–2015)

IDS Evidence Report 157 (2015)

At the end of September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be launched. Building on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were officially established in 2000, the SDGs will potentially have 17 goals – one of which was explicitly absent from the MDGs: the unpaid care work of women and girls. More details

ER155_FrontCover

‘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

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

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

ER126_FrontCover

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

ER119_FrontCover

When the Hen Crows: Obstacles that Prevent Indigenous Women from Influencing Health-care Policies – A Case Study of Shillong, Meghalaya, India

IDS Evidence Report 119 (2015)

Meghalaya is a landlocked and largely agrarian state in northeast India with an approximate population of three million. Various government surveys report that roughly half the state lives below the poverty line. More details

ER118_FrontCover

Turning the Tide: The Role of Collective Action for Addressing Structural and Gender-based Violence in South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 118 (2015)

The case study discussed in this Evidence Report explores the value and limitations of collective action in challenging the community, political, social and economic institutions that reinforce harmful masculinities and gender norms related to sexual and gender-based violence. More details

ER113_FrontCover

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Information and Communications Technologies: A Policy Review and Case Study from South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 113 (2015)

This report explores the intersection between sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and technological means of enhancing health. More details

ER110_FrontCover

Engaging Men and Boys to End Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Sierra Leone: A Stakeholder Mapping Report, June 2014

IDS Evidence Report 110 (2015)

Increasingly, engaging with men and boys has emerged as a vital strategy adopted by non-governmental organisations, national governments, women’s organisations, and international agencies for ending sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and achieving gender equality, including in refugee and post-conflict settings (Barker and Ricardo 2005; Dworkin, Colvin, Hatcher and Peacock 2012). More details

ER112_FrontCover

Coming Together to End Gender Violence: Report of Deliberative Engagements with Stakeholders on the Issue of Collective Action to Address Sexual and Gender-based Violence, and the Role of Men and Boys, October 2014, Cape Town, South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 112 (2015)

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) – physical, psychological, sexual, economic, socio-cultural – is a conspicuous and widespread violation of human rights. More details

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The revolutionary demand of a global transformation based on joy

01 Dec 2016
By Kemly Camacho Jiménez, Carol Smithyes

Connecting the global to the local: Reflections on CSW59

31 Mar 2015
By Elizabeth Mills, Thea Shahrokh

Women's economic equality: still a big gap!

12 Mar 2015
By Rosalind Eyben

Where next for progress on women’s rights?

06 Mar 2015
By Jenny Edwards

MHealth and sexual and reproductive health rights

19 Feb 2015
By Linda Waldman, Marion Stevens
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