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Sohela Nazneen

Research Fellow

Sohela Nazneen has 16 years of experience in research, teaching, policy analysis and advocacy on gender and development issues. Her research largely focuses on gender and governance, rural livelihoods, social and women’s movements.

She is currently leading a six–country research understand the relations between women’s inclusion in politics and their influence on education policy and domestic violence legislation in selected South Asian and Sub Saharan African countries for the Effective States and Inclusive Development (esid) Research Center. Sohela is also the political economy analysis co-ordinator for the Global Girls Research Initiative (GGRI), focusing on specific cases of policy and legal reforms across different contexts. She is the co-Principal Investigator in an ESRC-DFID funded project that explores women’s labour market participation in India and Bangladesh.

Sohela completed her MA in Gender and Development and her PhD on ‘gender sensitive accountability of service delivery NGOs’ from IDS. After completing her PhD, Sohela collaborated with IDS on the following projects. She was a member of the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC based at the South Asia hub, researching feminist activism, women in local government, and the impact of external funding on women’s organizing. Sohela also served as the focal point in Bangladesh for the network on women’s unpaid care work (under the Gender, Power and Sexualities Programme).

Before coming to IDS, Sohela taught at the Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka (currently on extraordinary unpaid leave) and served as an Adjunct Fellow at the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University. At BIGD, BRAC University, she was the co-lead for the Sohela serves as the co-lead of the South Asia Regional Secretariat for Women Parliamentarians (SARSWAP) and she was involved in several research projects on violence against women, women in politics, and gender and political settlements. Sohela also led the curriculum design of the Master’s in Development Management and Practice (MDMP) offered by BRAC University. Sohela has worked as a consultant on gender and development issues for UNDP, FAO, Academy of Education Development (AED), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE-Bangladesh, OXFAM (GB).

Sohela is the co-editor of ‘Voicing Demands: Feminist Activism in Transitional Contexts’ (Zed Books: London, 2014). She guest edited a special issue on ‘Researching Women’s Empowerment’ for the Women’s Studies International Forum Journal (Vol 45) in 2014.

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Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South

The fact that women have achieved higher levels of political inclusion within low- and middle-income countries has generated much speculation about whether this is reaping broader benefits in tackling gender-based inequalities. This book uncovers the multiple political dynamics...

7 March 2019

Sohela Nazneen’s recent work



The Governance research cluster identifies the following sub-themes of research to ensure citizens are represented and governed fairly in a world of changing state authorities. Taxation Understanding how taxation affects the quality of governance has implications for social justice,...