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Elizabeth Mills - Research Fellow

Gender and Sexuality


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Elizabeth Mills, originally trained as a social anthropologist in South Africa at the University of Cape Town, has historically pursued an interest in the relationship between gender, citizenship and health. She completed her MPhil at the University of Cambridge and her PhD at the University of Sussex.

Her research, largely in Southern Africa and Latin America, lies at the interface of political and medical anthropology. It has explored women's embodiment of HIV and AIDS biomedicine and how this affected their perception of and political engagement with actors in a global network that governed the development and distribution of AIDS biomedical technologies. Formerly the Deputy Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, Elizabeth engaged with and informed policy processes, managed large inter-disciplinary and multi-country research teams, and conducted and published qualitative and quantitative research.

Elizabeth's research interests include the political economy of gender and global health, women's political participation in post-conflict regions, and legal and policy strategies for addressing discrimination related to sexuality. She has published on poverty reduction strategies; unemployment and social welfare; women's contributions to transitional justice; sexuality and HIV; conflict and sexual violence; gender and health citizenship; and the anthropology of biomedicine and plural health systems.

Currently, Elizabeth convenes the Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme in IDS and conducts research on gender, health, citizenship and masculinities in West and Southern Africa.

Providing an in-depth understanding of determinants of domestic violence in Ghana, to strengthen advocacy and advance legal, policy and programmatic interventions aimed at countering domestic violence in Ghana.

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This is the front cover of MAVC Research Report Feasibility and acceptability of a mobile phone intervention to improve post-rape service delivery in South Africa.

Feasibility and acceptability of a mobile phone intervention to improve post-rape service delivery in South Africa

MAVC Research Report (2017)

Mobile health (mHealth) interventions – in which mobile phones are used to advance positive health outcomes – have only recently been applied to addressing broader questions of health governance. More details


Gender, Sexuality and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Meta-Analysis of Mechanisms of Exclusion and Avenues for Inclusive Development

IDS Evidence Report 206 (2016)

Through its work, the Institute of Development Studies Sexuality, Poverty and Law programme provides new evidence-based knowledge and policy options support efforts to strengthen the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. More details

Domestic Violence in Ghana: Incidence, Attitudes, Determinants and Consequences

This study represents a comprehensive attempt to estimate the incidence of domestic violence in Ghana, and analyse the attitudes that sustain domestic violence, its determinants and its consequences. More details


Avenues for Donors to Promote Sexuality and Gender Justice

IDS Policy Briefing 120 (2016)

Donor agencies agree that addressing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI) is not only an important human rights issue but is also integral to efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development. More details

Front Cover_What’s law got to do with it?

Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice: What's Law Got to Do with It?

Edited Collection (2016)

The contributions to this Edited Collection reveal the complexity of the deceptively simple question posed by its title: Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice: What’s Law Got to Do With It? More details

Thematic Expertise:
Reducing Inequalities.