Empowerment of Women and Girls

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As our research develops, we update the site with the latest information so that you can follow progress and interact with research in action.

The IssuesThe Research ProcessPolicy Findings
We explain the key issues and direct you to the most relevant information on each themeWe keep you up-to-date on our research activities and the evidence we collect from themWe share the research results as they begin to emerge and when they are finalised

Call for evidence on care; Join the discussion

In response to the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and Oxfam organised a call for evidence on what works for positive change in the care economy. Information from the call has been collated and synthesised into a position paper to be presented to Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, member of the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, as part of her consultation exercise prior to the HLP meeting in July 2016, and is now available to download.

As part of the call for evidence on care, IDRC, IDS and Oxfam also convened two webinars to discuss the scale of the challenge, what progress has been made, and to ask why has it stalled. View them online here: session 1 from June 7th and session 2 from June 8th, 2016.

Drawing from the experiences of an organisation who works with mental health carers, this briefing highlights the importance of widening the global mental health agenda to include local carers’ voices, greater government investment in mental health with social protection schemes for carers, flexible paid employment arrangements, and innovative mental health care actions.

What makes it possible for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to organise and become activists, challenging discriminatory social and gender norms? This question is addressed in a new study from IDS, the Refugee Law Project and Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda which also looks at the the role of third-party service providers and non-governmental organisations.

The Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations headquarters in New York from 14 to 24 March 2016. IDS is co-organising two parallel events: one on sustainable women’s economic empowerment, drawing on research from the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women programme, and the other on intersectional inequality and power. Interactions will be there to cover both of them.

IDS has published a new Bulletin which contributes to understanding of how ideas around empowerment have evolved and how we can move forward to expand women's opportunities and choices and realise women's empowerment in a meaningful way. The editors reflect on the interconnectedness of the economic, social and political components of empowerment and highlight significant gaps in policy and programming. 

A new policy briefing from IDS calls for decision-makers to take a broader approach to address the social, structural and economic determinants of health, and to ensure community involvement in interventions with genuine gender inclusivity. The paper is based on six case studies and a thematic review examining women’s and girls’ access to health in low-income urban settlements.

The urban share of poverty is increasing: according to the UN, by 2030 almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Health, gender and urbanisation are all included in the Sustainable Development Goals, but are the links clear enough? This blog post takes a look at the Global Goals and how urban health and gender are represented. 

This new policy briefing argues that progressive national tax reforms and improvements in global governance accountability are vital for positive change but that, despite State obligations to ensure economic policies are non-discriminatory and prioritise human rights, regressive tax policies and underfunded public services perpetuate women’s disproportionate responsibility for care. Also available in Spanish translation.

A new IDS policy briefing summarises the key findings of a global research programme on effective organised activism against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). It highlights the importance of addressing the underlying structural causes of violence showing that men are becoming more visible as partners in tackling SGBV, holding themselves and others accountable for maintaining harmful gender norms that perpetuate violence.