Gender-responsive knowledge systems

To produce the most relevant and rigorous research we need the voices, ideas and expertise of women and men. But research and knowledge systems are often very unequal.

We believe that both men and women have to be involved to create more equitable spaces for learning, and to enable all researchers to advance their careers.

Two women stood facing one another, one is holding a pen and paper. The background to the left is a corn field, and to the right is a house.

Gender mainstreaming in universities and research institutions

We enable institutions to identify the ways in which their policies, practices and structures are gendered, and to develop strategies to remove gender barriers and make their institutions more inclusive.

Our Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education Toolkit, developed with the University of Dodoma in Tanzania, anchors the process by providing a guiding framework and practical tools as part of a facilitated process.

Our work on teaching and learning has also laid the foundations for wider change, with Gulu University establishing a dedicated gender unit to drive changes to policy and practice, and with several universities establishing "gender multipliers" to support their colleagues to change their practice.

Gender responsive pedagogy

With East African partners, we've developed a new framework and tools to enable universities and their staff and students to make teaching and learning gender-responsive.

In East Africa this has enabled academics to make changes to their classrooms and to their curricula. Students' participation in class has increased, and women students report feeling more confident, more likely to speak up and more likely to take on leadership roles in class.

Gender responsive research

Although men and women need to work together to make research more gender responsive, there are times when women researchers need dedicated spaces and support.

Through AuthorAID, and in partnership with the Organisation for Women in Science in the Developing World, we support women researchers to strengthen their research and grant writing skills.

In partnership with the Mawazo Institute in Kenya and the Global Centre for Gender Equality at Stanford University, we've piloted a learning programme in gender-responsive research design.

Gender at system level

To make knowledge systems more equitable, we know that change has to happen at system level too. With partners in Ethiopia and Uganda we've helped to create new national alliances that are tackling gender across the research system.

The Ethiopia Gender Learning Forum, launched in partnership with the Ethiopian Academy of Science, has brought together champions from almost 30 universities, creating an important platform for dialogue and collaboration. Its members are working together to devise new strategies to ensure that their institutions, and the system as a whole, are enabling women to progress their careers.

In Uganda the Gender Equity in Research Alliance has taken a different approach. Launched in partnership with the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, it is building a national network of women and men committed to driving change. Regional chapters are supporting local institutions to examine their structures and make changes to policies and systems.                                       

Meet our gender experts here


Help us achieve our vision