ICRW has been examining the lives of adolescents – especially girls – for more than two decades. Our work focuses on improving their well-being and identifying ways to change deeply entrenched traditional practices that prevent girls and young women from reaching their full potential. We believe that making the abilities, attitudes and options of adolescent girls and boys more equitable is one of the most effective ways to empower women. And our research shows that all aspects of young people’s lives – school, relationships, work, health and marriage – must be addressed in order to bring about lasting social change. Adolescent programs and policies require working with not only girls, but boys, parents, teachers, community members, leaders, schools and employers, too.
ICRW has been examining for more than 30 years how disparities between women and men affect agricultural productivity and food security. Our research helps development organizations, policymakers and others find practical ways to enhance women’s roles in agricultural production and trade, thereby improving their incomes and livelihoods.
ICRW analyzes the differences between the responsibilities, limitations and interests of male and female farmers to design strategies that provide services, training and incomes. Our findings and recommendations help identify sound approaches that ensure efforts reach women as well as men. Ultimately, we aim to help farmers become competitive participants in the agricultural marketplace and reap the financial benefits.
Economic development efforts to combat poverty can only succeed if women are part of the solution. Doing so yields a double dividend: When women are economically empowered, they raise healthier, better educated families. Their countries are more economically prosperous because of it, too.
Since our founding more than 30 years ago, ICRW's work has expanded understanding of women's economic contributions as well as the hurdles that prevent them from being successful. Our efforts focus on how gender affects economic development efforts related to assets and property rights as well as employment, enterprise development and financial services.
We strive to increase women's ownership, use and control of assets and property. We want to empower women as economic agents and better their ability to access markets on competitive and equitable terms. And with our partners, ICRW aims to integrate gender perspectives into program and institution activities. We believe such an approach improves the likelihood that efforts to strengthen women economically are successful.
ICRW was among the first organizations in the early 1990s to call attention to how gender inequality fueled the transmission of HIV and AIDS among women. Today, ICRW continues to push the AIDS agenda forward. As the global response moves from a focus on crisis management into a sustained, long-term strategy, our work centers around how HIV programs and policies can better serve the needs of women and girls. We work with partners to design, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of programs that strive to reduce women's social and biological vulnerability to HIV. We also aim to weave these programs into existing family planning, reproductive and maternal health services. Ultimately, we strive to influence national policies by guiding governments and others on how to address the role that gender norms play in the prevention, support and treatment of HIV.
ICRW strives to demonstrate that improved sexual and reproductive health outcomes are pre-conditions for achieving gender equality, empowering women and reducing global poverty. ICRW’s research in this area aims to build a sound evidence base to inform programs and policies by defining the fundamental connections between gender, reproductive health and development, highlighting the importance of adolescent transitions to adulthood, analyzing means for facilitating women’s access to safe and effective reproductive control options, and undertaking rigorous evaluations to demonstrate what works.
Our approach examines how gender equality is both a determinant and a consequence of demographic change. For example, our current research suggests that as fertility rates decline in developing countries, women gain increased access to higher education and formal employment opportunities. This in turn can facilitate more transformative shifts in gender relations. Findings such as these bolster the policy directive that advancing women’s and girls’ reproductive health creates conditions that improve the quality of life for individuals, families, communities and nations.
ICRW employs a multifaceted approach to reducing violence against women. We conduct empirical research to better understand the incidence of violence, costs associated with it and factors that lead to it. We also are building evidence on interventions designed to prevent violence against women, particularly comprehensive approaches that include economically empowering women, involving boys and men, protecting survivors of violence and rehabilitating men who are abusive. ICRW is examining the policy dimensions of violence prevention by evaluating the impact of and challenges to existing legislation and using our findings to advocate for stronger, more effective laws. Finally, ICRW participates in strategic regional and global networks that work to strengthen civil society and advance the field of preventing violence against women.