Putting gender centre stage

IIED's mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others. But without gender equality and gender equity, there can be no social justice or sustainable development.

Ethiopian women sort coffee beans at a long table. Gender equality and equity are vital components of sustainable development (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

Gender equality and gender equity are fundamental to achieving IIED's mission. But they are not just prerequisites to the issues we work on, they are also essential to our ways of working. 

We are an institute that believes in collaboration, impact and fairness – inside our institute as well as in the wider world. 

Our research and action aim to put people first on the environmental agenda. We want to empower the world's poorest and most vulnerable people to improve their own livelihoods while respecting environmental limits.

By definition that must include an ambitious approach to gender – one that critically examines gender roles, relations and dynamics; that transforms the underlying social structures, policies and norms that perpetuate inequalities and imbalances between and among women and men. 

At the same time, we want a fair and inclusive workplace that is truly gender equal. A workplace that requires us to acknowledge that our approach to gender equality and equity is shaped by our individual and collective knowledge, behaviours, values and by societal norms. One that challenges us to assess our policies, principles and practices on a routine basis, changing them where needed.

Our vision

Our vision is to create a fair, inclusive and gender-equitable research programme and workplace, enabling us to support fairer, more sustainable development.

That means putting gender equality and equity at the heart of what we do and how we do it.

In April 2020 we introduced a new gender equality policy. This built on our 2016 gender manifesto in 2016, and sets out expectations for our research work, our work with partners and the way we operate as an organisation. All staff will be involved in putting this policy into practice and we hope we will all learn from the process.

Throughout our five-year strategy, IIED’s gender champions will push forward on integrating and enhancing gender equality activities across the organisation, supporting researchers, sharing learning, building skills and confidence.

Our programme of work – 'Gender equality, voice and power' – will focus on embedding the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 5 and gender aspects of other SDGs in our research, alongside other intersecting issues such as age, disability, sexuality and religion, showing greater ambition to challenge the status quo across all sectors.