1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Gender Justice and Development

For more than three decades, UNRISD has been exploring the gendered power relations found at the centre of institutions and policies, political and social life, and how such dynamics shape unjust gender outcomes. The work has tracked advances towards a more equal distribution of labour, care, power and well-being; but equality gains can be lost very quickly—and gender justice has proven more elusive. Gender justice, a perennial concern of global South feminists, located in wider debates around social justice, points to the necessity of transforming the development agenda from a feminist point of view. It raises the importance of gendered biases that limit women’s capacities to profit from equal opportunities—or even “unequal” special access privileges.

Work in the Gender Justice and Development Programme aims to contribute to understanding and addressing the economic, social, cultural and political barriers to the kinds of transformations—in ways of living and in institutions—necessary not only for equality or empowerment, but for justice and for leaving no one behind.

The programme’s work seeks to understand, analyse and engage with processes of policy change around the following types of questions.
  • How is the phenomenon of gender backlash or anti-genderism seen in different parts of the global South? Where, why and how is it playing out in different places and for different categories of people?
  • How will ongoing innovation and technological shifts affect women’s work? Which occupations will become “feminized” or “defeminized”? What can be done to counter the strong gender biases embedded in new technologies, and their consequences for employment, social services and social protection delivery?
  • What would a feminist environmental policy look like? How could it be designed and implemented? How can gender research and feminist perspectives support the coalitions and collaborations working to deliver social, economic and environmental justice for communities across the globe?

Photo: Keith Fox (public domain via Unsplash)