Photo of Brigette Rohwerder

Brigitte Rohwerder - Research Officer

Conflict and Violence; Gender and Sexuality
T: +44 (0)1273 915787

Personal URL:

Google Scholar URL:

Patta is Co-Leader of the Power and Popular Politics Cluster.

I research political marginalization, asking how people on the margins explain it and resist or embrace it. People's reaction to political marginalization has major implications not only locally, but also nationally and internationally and my research tries to make these implications clear.

At present, I am focusing on young people and their actions, drawing on many years of work in East Africa's borderlands and latterly in the slums of its large cities. Most important for me is to bring my research back to the people who have contributed to it. Rather than just extracting information, I bring analysis and research results back to people, stimulating conversations about what it means and what can be done. Linked to this, I'm also pursuing a line of inquiry into how people debate public issues. I study the powers and limitations of popular politics – street talk and protest – and the role that research can play in supporting it.

At present I am trying to understand the political margins from three angles:

  • Exploring the causes and effects of poor quality education on young people's lives, and its links to growing economic inequality and unraveling insecurity in the East African Region.
  • Explaining a contemporary politics of provision, looking at people's and authorities' reactions to a sharply rising cost of living in city slums and distant rural areas. I'm learning why people protest and why they don't and I'm making connections with right to food movements to understand their part
  • Understanding how political violence preys on young people, discussing why people join in and how it works. I'm exploring its links to wider political economic processes as well as the efforts people make locally to resist it

My perspective is from the ground up. I want to learn how people on the margins explain the mechanisms of marginalization and how they are acting in response. Adding analyses of the national and international political and economic processes that underpin these local situations, I feed research into three zones:

  1. international debates about global inequalities and insecurities;
  2. debates among people on the margins that strengthen their understanding of their situation and its possibilities; and
  3. debates between young people on the margins and those in government, civil society and the private sector who want to find new ways of narrowing the gaps.

PhD student supervision

  • Maria Cascante who is asking what an international NGO campaign in Nigeria might learn from thinking like a social movement
  • Violeta Vajda, who is inquiring into identity and racism in Romania
  • Marcio Pessoa, who is studying defiant civil society in Mozambique

If you are interested in collaborating, please contact me!

A five-year DFID-funded Evidence and Knowledge for Development (K4D) programme consortium led by IDS.

More details

The '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

IDS publications on international development research

Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Response

The World Report on Disability estimates that about 15 per cent of the world’s population have some form of disability, with disability prevalence likely to increase as a result of ageing populations and the global increase in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health disorders. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 498, '‘You Cannot Live Without Money’: Balancing Women’s Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work in Rwanda'.

‘You Cannot Live Without Money’: Balancing Women’s Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work in Rwanda

IDS Working Paper 498 (2017)

This paper summarises the findings of mixed-methods research that was carried out in Rwanda as part of the ‘Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work: Successes, Challenges and Lessons for Women’s Economic Empowerment Programmes and Policies’ research project (2015–17). More details

IDS publications on international development research

‘You Cannot Live Without Money’: Women Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work in Rwanda

Following a survey of women in Rwanda about the balance between their paid and unpaid work commitments, this report argues that despite men being encouraged to become more involved in care activities, there is a need for advocacy at the household level about sharing care activities. More details

IDS publications on international development research

‘You Cannot Live Without Money’: Women Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work in Rwanda

This report details the findings of research into women's economic empowerment programmes in Rwanda, and outlines recommendations for future policy and programming. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Conflict and Gender Dynamics in Yemen

This rapid review looks at the impact of the conflict on gender dynamics in Yemen. More details

Double Victims

08 May 2015
By Brigitte Rohwerder