Resources on women’s rights and gender equality

A site with practical advice on women’s rights and gender equality for project managers and programme makers. The overarching aim is to equip users to challenge gender stereotypes and serve both men and women equally .
by Elanor Jackson and Kanwal Ahluwalia. Gender & Development Network (March 2018)
Resource for training on women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality and for use to assess projects and project activities by E. Jackson and K. Ahluwalia (2018)

Elanor Jackson

Womankind Worldwide (December 2015). This research in four countries: Ghana, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, focused on the spaces created for women by the Government or more usually Womankind’s partners, to explore what these mean to women. It explored how women access the spaces, what they learn, what benefits they get from them and how far their participation enables them to organise and make demands on Local Government for better service provision. While each space was different and shaped by both the political context and women’s realities, a number of key findings emerged, some positive and others challenging.
Womankind Worldwide. The research in Nepal as part of the Womankind research, explored how Dalit women engage in different spaces to bring about positive change in their lives and use the opportunities provided by these spaces to participate in decision-making and to raise issues with decision makers. It focuses on the Dalit Women’s Groups (DWGs) formed at community level by Dalit women with the support of Womankind’s partner, the Feminist Dalit Women’s Organisation (FEDO), a women’s rights organisation and social movement
Womankind Worldwide. In Ghana, the research focuses on a quarterly meeting space established by Womankind’s partner the Gender Centre, where they bring women representatives of different community groups and associations together with District-Level decision makers and women District Assembly (DA) members and other women professionals aspiring to leadership roles, to enable women to raise issues with decision makers and to promote women’s leadership
Plan UK (July 2014) – lead author. This report presents research carried out to understand the challenges in three countries where Plan works (Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan) and explore the fundamental structures that shape attitudes and behaviour around gender roles and potential. The research asked how communities themselves see the current situation and what women and girls, men and boys want to see changed; what Plan wants to achieve and how staff undertake work in this area; and what is actually changing in favour of women and girls in the communities studied. The focus of the report is on what people themselves experience and think, especially adolescent girls, and their aspirations for the future .
This report describes a qualitative study on the role of education in livelihoods in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, conducted over 18 days in April 2011
(co-author). Child Protection Policies and Procedures.  ChildHope & Consortium for Street Children, March 2005 .  The Toolkit outlines and explores some of the key principles and issues relevant to child protection/safeguarding, as well as outlining the steps that are needed in order to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate child protection policies and procedures. The tools can be used by those with overall executive responsibility for an organisation or by a designated person or group within the organisation with responsibility for child protection issues.

Consortium for Street Children (March 2005),  Written contributions and co-design of research project component



Kanwal Ahluwalia​

Brigden, S. and Ahluwalia, K. (2020), Humanity Inclusion.

This Disability, Gender and Age Resource was developed as a guide for Humanity Inclusion staff across the international federation to better understand intersectionality as a way in which multiple individual characteristics and societal factors intersect to compound discrimination in any given context. Section A introduces the concepts of disability, age and gender as social constructs and the need to transform unequal power relations. Section B includes some more practical guidance on inclusion and bias; the need to consider the wider environment; how to work with social norms; how to understand power differently; and empowerment and participation processes.

Laws, E., Brigden, S., Ahluwalia, K. (2018) 

This report examines the extent to which authors and development practitioners who identify with the principles and methods of thinking and working politically have used them to consider gender-related issues. It also looks at how power and politics are approached in some common tools for gender analysis.

It is part of the Gender and Politics in Practice series, and is published in collaboration with the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre.

Derbyshire, H., Dolata, N. and Ahluwalia, K. (2015) Gender and Development Network Briefing Paper.

This paper, produced by the Gender and Development Network (GADN) Gender Mainstreaming Working Group, explores the concept and practicalities of gender mainstreaming. It draws on learning from staff with responsibility for gender mainstreaming in 9 UK based INGOs and their Southern based partner organisations; wider discussions with GADN members and women’s rights activists; as well as the personal experiences and reflections of the authors. It elaborates a Theory of Change setting out the component parts of gender mainstreaming, how these relate to each other, and how they collectively contribute towards the wider goal of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights

Ahluwalia, K. In Wallace, T. and Porter, F. (Eds), (2013) ‘Aid, NGOs and Women’s Lives’, Practical Action. 

The Nkyinkyim Anti-Violence programme stands out as a beacon of good development practice and resulted in significant improvements in the lives of women and girls in Ghana. The programme focused on achieving changes within the lives of predominately poor, rural women and girls experiencing violence and the changes in attitudes and behaviours of those around them. The programme took a bottom-up, responsive approach and enabled women themselves to determine what needed to change. Women themselves shaped, altered, and benefited from the programme. However, this approach became increasingly ‘at odds’ with donors in the UK who were under pressure to demonstrate success through quick results for large numbers of women. The challenge for the NGOs involved was how to remain true to the principle of enabling women to lead the changes in their own lives whilst trying to comply with every changing and increasing donor demands.

Wallace, T., Ahluwalia, K., Hendriks, and S., Munive, A. (2013). Plan International (internal).

These guidelines support Plan International offices to undertake a Gender Equality Self-Assessment (GESA). They highlight the core elements to be addressed by a GESA. They explain what a GESA is, why it is important, and how to undertake the process. The guidelines emphasise the participatory and reflective nature of the GESA process

Swarup, A., Dankelman, I. Ahluwalia, K. and Hawrylyshyn, K. (2011). Plan International.

This report demonstrates not only how climate change disproportionately affects girls, particularly adolescent girls, but also how girls’ agency is crucial for tackling future challenges of climate change adaptation. Given the space and voice, girls are capable of identifying and taking actions that will help to protect themselves and their communities. In order for this potential to be realised, organisations working on women’s and girls’ rights must be given the opportunity to contribute. Acknowledging women and girls as vulnerable groups is not enough. Planners need to allocate climate change adaptation funding to enable girls to be effective agents of change