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Why does gender matter in development? How does gender reproduce social inequalities that affect development? What can we do about the mis-recognition of gender relations that often leads to mal-distribution of resources to support the marginalized? What is needed to transform gender relations in the 21st Century?

The issue of gender has long been part of the development agenda. With the inception of the United Nations in 1945, women’s groups and activists helped to push for the recognition of women’s needs in the UN charter. The series of development conferences led to the ratification of CEDAW in 1979, which prohibits all forms of discrimination against women. The Beijing Conference in 1995 put forward the tool of gender mainstreaming such that gender inequalities are considered and challenged in all aspects of development policy-making and implementation. Then the Millennium Development Goals and now the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 5) have underlined the importance of gender equality to development.

WICID's work reflects this concern with making gender mainstreamed in our analyses of development issues today.

Current Projects

Co-POWeR: Consortium on Practices of Well-being and Resilience in BAME Families and Communities

Funder: UKRI

Investigator(s): Iyiola Solanke (PI, University of Leeds); Shirin Rai (WICID Advisory Board); Gargi Bhattacharyya (UEL); Claudia Bernard (Goldsmiths); Anna Gupta (RHUL); Monica Lakhanpaul (UCL); Maria Stokes (Southampton); Florence Ayisi (USW); Raminder Kaur (Sussex); Sabu Padmadas (Southampton)

Two viruses – COVID-19 and discrimination – are currently killing in the UK (Solanke 2020), especially within BAMEFC who are hardest hit. Survivors face ongoing damage to wellbeing and resilience, in terms of physical and mental health as well as social, cultural and economic (non-medical) consequences. Psychosocial and physical trauma of those diseased and deceased, disproportionate job-losses, multi-generational housing, disrupted care chains, lack of access to culture, education and exercise, poor nutrition, ‘over-policing’ hit BAMEFC severely.

The impact of these viruses cause long-term poor outcomes. Co-POWeR investigates their combined impact on practices for wellbeing and resilience across BAMEFC in the UK to create an holistic idea of vulnerabilities damaging BAMEFC, broadening/deepening existing work as well as conducting new research. Systemic deficiencies have stimulated BAMEFC agency, producing solidarity under emergency, yet BAMEFC vulnerability remains, requiring official support. We produce evidenced recommendations enabling official mitigation of disproportionate damage to the wellbeing and resilience of BAMEFC. Empowerment is a core consortium value – co-design, co-production, capacity-building and engagement informs our methodology. Alongside recommendations, regular reports and meetings, outputs to benefit BAMEFC within the grant period include digital educational resources and cultural materials (films, plays, exhibition).

Previous Projects

A Fair Chance for Education

Funder: Fair Chance Foundation; Warwick Collaborative Postgraduate Research Scholarships; Centre for Education Studies; Warwick Law School

Investigator(s): Prof Ann Stewart (PI, Warwick Law); Dr Emily Henderson (Co-I, WICID)

Partners: Dr Manish Jain (Ambedkar University, India); Dr Nidhi Sabharwal (NIEPA, India); Prof Nandini Manjrekar (TISS Mumbai, India)

A Fair Chance for Education: Gendered Pathways to Educational Success in Haryana is a five-year action research project that seeks to determine the gendered factors that contribute to educational success for young people in Haryana, India. Haryana experiences significant gender-based practices that affect the ability of young people to access and remain within the education system, and to progress into higher education. The project therefore focusses on gendered social relations and gender differences in choices, obstacles and opportunities for young people as they progress through the education system, and ultimately intends to devise a programme of actions that can bring about positive social change.

Inclusive Economies and Enduring Peace: The Transformative Role of Social Reproduction

Funder: Monash-Warwick Alliance

Principal Investigators: Prof Shirin Rai (WICID); Prof Jacqui True (Gender Peace and Security, Monash)

Co-Investigators: Juanita Elias, Nicola Pratt & and Jayanthi Lingham (Warwick); Samanthi Gunawardana & Melissa Johnston (Monash)

This study aimed to uncover the gendered outcomes of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) policy responses to the pandemic in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In collaboration with researchers from each of the three countries and based on field work conducted from July 2021 to January 2022, the study examined the different experiences of women and men in the MSME sector. Specifically, the study examined how women and men have been consulted in policy design; the extent to which policy responses included gender analysis in design or application; factors influencing priorities in designing policy; the gender breakdown of beneficiaries of the policy support; the types of support measures which benefitted women the most; and the lessons or recommendations at could be drawn from these three country case studies.