Gender and Sexuality

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.

Since the 1970s, IDS has been at the forefront of challenges to individualised ‘women-centric’ understandings of gender and sexuality, holding up for scrutiny the ‘myths’ and narratives that have so often (mis)informed gender and development policy and practice, in order to inspire more inclusive approaches that have agency and diversity at their heart and tackle the drivers of gendered inequalities.

Originating in feminist thought and practice and seeing the personal as political, this agenda has been supported by robust yet innovative participatory methodologies and approaches to citizenship and power which engage a range of local and global actors from research, policy and civil society in a range of contexts.

Through research IDS strives towards a world free of social and gender injustice, where unequal gendered power relations are transformed and the rights of all human beings are upheld in ways that both challenge and transcend axes of social difference, including sexual orientation, class, race, ethnicity, religion and disability.

We engage progressive stakeholders and partners across movements, disciplines and domains in the generation of high quality, ground-breaking research and knowledge that challenges gender and sexuality ‘myths’ and stereotypes, and contributes to transformative policy, practice and activism.


Image of Amy Cowlard
Amy Cowlard

Project Support Officer

Image of Anna Raw
Anna Raw

Project Manager

Image of Anne Marie Goetz
Anne Marie Goetz

Emeritus Fellow

Image of Brigitte Rohwerder
Brigitte Rohwerder

Research Officer

Image of Deborah Shenton
Deborah Shenton

Hub Manager

Image of Deepta Chopra
Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Image of Elaine Mercer
Elaine Mercer

Communications and Networking Officer

Image of Hayley MacGregor
Hayley MacGregor

Research Fellow



Masculinities and Transition

The project will explore the experiences of men and shifting constructions of masculinities in current ‘transition countries’ in order to identify ways to complement women-focused interventions in the Bank’s projects and broader investments to enhance both the resilience of transition, and...

Recent work

Impact Story

Understanding and strengthening women’s roles in politics and work

For more than 40 years, IDS has been forging its well-earned reputation for progressive gender research, knowledge sharing and teaching. That work continues apace today with IDS programmes and researchers continuing to deepen understanding of how to strengthen women’s political and economic...

4 July 2019


Cash transfers and gender equality

IDS researchers attending this year's Commission for the Status of Women highlight limitations of cash transfers in achieving women's empowerment if they are not coupled with access to adequate public services and infrastructure.

11 March 2019


Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South

This book uncovers the multiple political dynamics that influence governments to adopt and implement gender equity policies, pushing the debate beyond simply the role of women’s inclusion in influencing policy.

7 March 2019