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Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Explore our latest analysis on gender equality and social inclusion.
Image credit:#8M International Women's Day march in Santiago, 2022. Image credit: Emilie Tant

Transforming gender norms

Gender norms and stigma are some of the biggest barriers to change. As a root cause of gender inequality, good policy must target longer term shifts around patriarchal social norms.

10 ways to transform gender norms

This resource lays out five areas for investment and five organising spaces in order to make real progress on eradicating gender injustice and inequality.

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10 ways to transform gender norms
Work life balance concept on wooden blocks. © 3rdtimeluckystudio | Shutterstock ID: 2115471251

Building caring societies: how states can shift the gendered norms of care

Download ODI Policy brief

Countering anti-gender backlash

Facing the backlash: what is fuelling anti-feminist & anti-democratic forces?

This ALIGN Framing paper explains how patriarchal gender norms are fuelling anti-feminist forces and driving global rollbacks to democracy.

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ALIGN paper cover: Facing the backlash: what is fuelling anti-feminist and  anti-democratic forces?
Gay Pride celebration - Durban South Africa-2017

LGBTQI+ rights are not just for Pride Month

Increasingly unprotected in many countries, LGBTQI+ populations are subject to a wave of well-funded efforts by anti-rights organisations that are endangering lives. Here are three areas for action.
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Think Change episode 28 - how can we counter the anti-feminist backlash?

ODI Think Change episode 28: how can we counter the anti-feminist backlash?

This episode examines the issues driving the anti-women’s rights movement, the challenges that advocates of women’s rights must confront, and options for change.
Listen here

Feminist Foreign Policy

shutterstock_2166694409 Mariana Serdynska

Where next for feminist foreign policy on countering backlash from Europe?

Led by ODI's Gender Equality and Social Inclusion team, this conversation will mark the launch of ODI’s new series of policy briefs: Where next for Feminist Foreign Policy?
Register here
Eve Orea_Mexico City antiGBV monument 2020

Where next for feminist foreign policy on countering anti-gender backlash?

Concerted backlash against progress on gender equality, LGBTQI+ diversity and feminism is now a well-recognised global phenomenon. How can states declaring feminist foreign policy take coordinated action to defend and uphold hard-won rights?
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Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN)

ALIGN brings together global research on gender norms to share lessons for transformative change. Our platform enables a community of researchers and thought leaders to understand patriarchal gender norms, sharing knowledge on key drivers of change.

Visit the ALIGN website

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Gender norms and social media

This ALIGN 2-part research series seeks to understand if and how social media is changing gender norms. Together these reports tackle the patriarchal bias in the back-end of digital platforms and the power of women's online activism.

Read the ALIGN reports
From the ALIGN report: Hashtags, memes and selfies: Can social media and online activism shift gender norms?

Feminist social movements map

ALIGN's interactive global map features leading women's organisations and feminist collectives taking action to change gender norms. It highlights those groups working across their global and regional contexts on: Climate, Violence, LGBTQI+ rights, Political power and Economic autonomy.

Explore the ALIGN map
Feminist social movements map

Gender-based violence

Social movements map

Is no space safe? Working to end gender-based violence in the public sphere

This ALIGN briefing highlights the pervasive nature of GBV across four different public spaces, making the connections between gender norms and men's violence, showing how to work together in allyship for action.
Read the ALIGN Briefing
ODI Panel _ Allyship to action _Panel Convening cropped

From allyship to action: how men can step up to end violence against women

This ODI Public Dialogue deepens conversations around men's role in driving change. We hear from men who are already leading, speaking out and designing policy to end male violence.
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More on social movements

Women’s movements are advancing reproductive rights and gender justice. But traditional funders are missing a big opportunity to invest in their work.


Women's organisations and feminist mobilisation

This ODI Briefing note and infographic walks through what women's movements have achieved for gender equality and how they can be better supported by funders.
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Mobilising for change: how women’s social movements are transforming gender norms

Read new ALIGN research which lays out the important impact of women's and feminist social movements on changing gender norms around the world.
Read the report
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Global dialogue: unlocking feminist activism

Watch a discussion on the power of women's social movements to advance gender justice, with leading feminist activists, thinkers and policy-makers.
Listen here

Reproductive justice and women's economic empowerment

When women and LGBTQ+ communities have access to the reproductive healthcare they need, society stands to gain significantly from their economic contributions.

Gender & Adolescence: Global Evidence

GAGE is the largest global study on adolescents, following 20,000 girls and boys in developing countries to understand what works to enhance adolescent capabilities and empowerment.

Visit GAGE website

Gage Logo promo webpage Image.JPG

The team

How we work

  • Gender norms

    We identify the drivers of discriminatory gender norms and most effective routes to change. Our flagship ALIGN research proposes evidence-informed pathways to gender justice through understanding the informal rules that influence gender relations through sexist attitudes and behaviours, and key drivers of transformation. We focus on the role of media and political representation, the power of social movements and positive masculinities.

  • Intersectionality

    An intersectional approach guides our research, particularly on issues of class, age, race and ethnicity, (dis)ability, sexual orientation and gender identity. We explore how differing oppressions intersect with gender norms to affect experience, life chances and realisation of rights. Our focus is on the norms, practices, structures and institutions that intersect with one another to contribute to marginalisation and inequality.

  • Political voice and leadership

    Our work on political voice and leadership explores pathways and barriers to equal participation in political space. This includes in leadership roles, at decision-making tables and within social movements. We consider how gender norms limit women’s political power and exacerbate their exposure to gendered violence in public life, proposing policy strategies for change.

  • Economic empowerment

    Our analysis on youth skills, women’s employment and the care economy has informed donors, governments and international policy processes. Focusing on women’s economic empowerment from adolescence to adulthood, we provide evidence on what works for skills development and access to productive assets; credit and decent employment; expansion of land rights; and shifting social norms to enhance women’s financial inclusion.

  • Education

    Through examining how formal and informal education contributes to girls’ skills and wider agency in making life decisions, we identify practices and innovative approaches to enhance gender equality. This includes reducing financial barriers to education, curriculum reform, and teacher training. We also present ways to mitigate threats to girls’ education in conflict-affected contexts, with strategies to combat gender-based violence in schools.

  • Health and well-being

    Research on gender and health spans sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, neglected tropical diseases as well as sexual and gender-based violence. Our growing work on gender, mental health and psychosocial well-being adds depth and nuance to an area traditionally dominated by biomedical approaches, also exploring the social determinants of mental ill-health.

  1. Supporting resilience among young people at risk of child abuse in Ethiopia: The role of social system alignment

    Journal issue/article

  2. ‘The School Was Closed, So When They Brought Me A Husband I Couldn’t Say No’: Exploring the Gendered Experiences of Child Marriage Amongst Adolescent Girls and Boys in Ethiopia

    Journal issue/article

  3. Intersecting barriers to adolescents’ educational access during COVID-19: Exploring the role of gender, disability and poverty

    Journal issue/article

  4. Where next for feminist foreign policy?

    Briefing/policy papers

  5. Where next for feminist foreign policy on tackling the climate crisis?

    Briefing/policy papers

  6. Where next for feminist foreign policy on countering anti-gender backlash?

    Briefing/policy papers

  7. Building caring societies: how states can shift the gendered norms of care

    Briefing/policy papers

  8. Where next for feminist foreign policy on countering backlash from Europe?


  9. Gender-transformative approaches: good practices and future frontiers

    Briefing/policy papers

  10. Impliquer les hommes et les garçons dans les interventions visant l'abandon de l'E/MGF:quels approches à l'épreuve de l'empirie?

  11. Lessons on backlash from Women Deliver: tackling the enemy in the room

  12. Involving men and boys in the fight to end FGM/C: what does the evidence say?

  13. Think Change episode 28: how can we counter the anti-feminist backlash?

  14. LGBTQI+ rights are not just for Pride Month

  15. Digitally powered ‘learning to earning’ for displaced young people and adolescent girls and young women

    Research reports

  16. ODI in conversation with Emma Dabiri: can coalitions counter the anti-feminist backlash?


  17. Longitudinal evaluation of the implementation of UNHCR's Age, Gender and Diversity policy

    Case/country studies

  18. Are grandmothers the key to shifting social norms on FGM/C and child marriage?

Elsewhere on the web