Our research, teaching, and policy engagement seeks to interrogate the multiple ways in which gender can be understood, and also how it intersects with other forms of inequality.
Theme leader: Dr Rosie Peppin Vaughan
Gender equality in education increasingly features as a key concern in international declarations and national policy commitments. However, the ways in which gender is defined is not always clear; nor is it evident whether such policies are bringing genuinely transformative results.
Our projects examine a number of themes:
- school related gender-based violence and policies that address this
- psycho-social dimensions of education
- teacher education.
We also explore the complexities around translating gender equality policy between the global, national and local contexts. Exploring it in ways that talk to the political and transformative concerns of women's rights activists at all levels from the grassroots to the transnational.
Our work is underpinned by a concern with the politics of knowledge generation, and how hierarchies and structures of power in the field of international development affect research processes and which perspectives are deemed most important. We have a special interest in the development of indicators around gender equality in education, aware both of their strengths and weaknesses.
UCL’s Research Excellence Framework 2021 included our Impact Case Study on Advancing Global Gender Equality through Educational Partnerships: Supporting safer, more gender-equitable schools across eight countries in Africa
- Contexts of Violence in Adolescence (COVAC) - a longitudinal cohort study (2018-2022) in Luwero, Uganda. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), IOE and Raising Voices (Uganda): Jenny Parkes, Simone Datzberger and Colleen Howell. Report: Young people, inequality and violence during the COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda.
- Accountability for gender equality in education (AGEE) - critical perspectives on an indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IOE in partnership with colleagues from South Africa, Malawi and the UK (DFID/ESRC; 2018-21, and follow-on research augmentation funding, 2021-22): Elaine Unterhalter (Principal Investigator), Helen Longlands and Rosie Peppin Vaughan.
- Equalities in Public Private Partnerships (EQUIPPS) - a network grant (GCRF), 2017-2018: Elaine Unterhalter (Co-Investigator).
- Transnational activism on gender and education in a multipolar world - IOE seed funding, 2017-2018: Rosie Peppin Vaughan and Orlanda Siow.
- Exploring the causes and consequences of child marriage through elopement in rural Nepal - UCL Grand Challenges, 2016-2017: Joanna Morrison and Jenny Parkes.
- End Gender Violence in Schools: Addressing School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) to Promote Safe and Supportive Learning Environments - a study in Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Ethiopia and Zambia (commissioned by UNICEF): Jenny Parkes (Principal Investigator), Freya Johnson Ross, Rosie Westerveld, Jo Heslop, Elaine Unterhalter and William Nicholas.
- Teacher education, teacher practice and approaches to gender and girls' schooling outcomes: A study in five Nigerian states - MacArthur Foundation/British Council, 2014-2016: Elaine Unterhalter (Principal Investigator), Amy North and Emma Shercliff.
- The Good Schools Study: reducing violence in Ugandan primary schools - a collaborative research study led by LSHTM, Raising Voices, IOE and Makerere University - MRC/DfID/Wellcome Trust, 2012-2015: Jenny Parkes (Co-Investigator).
- Men, masculinities and fatherhood in global finance - ESRC, 2009-2014: Helen Longlands.
- Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI) in Northern Ghana - VSO/Comic Relief, 2009-2014: Elaine Unterhalter.
- Stop Violence Against Girls in School in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique - Big Lottery Fund/Action Aid, 2008-2013: Jenny Parkes (Principal Investigator) and Jo Heslop.
- Transforming education for girls in Nigeria and Tanzania (TEGINT) - ActionAid, Comic Relief and the Tubney Charitable Trust; 2008-2012: Elaine Unterhalter (Principal Investigator), Jo Heslop and Rosie Peppin Vaughan.
- Negotiating danger, risk and safety: An exploration with young people in an urban neighbourhood - ESRC, 2008-2012: Jenny Parkes.
- Gender, education and global poverty reduction initiatives (GEGPRI) - DFID/ESRC, 2007-2011: Elaine Unterhalter (Principal Investigator), Chris Yates and Amy North.
Policy engagement and knowledge sharing
- Download (pdf): Appraisal of data available on violence against children in and around schools (VACS)
- Gender and non-state actors in education - background paper commissioned for the 2021 UNESCO GEM Report: Elaine Unterhalter, Lynsey Robinson, Maria Ron Balsera and Colleen Howell.
- Intersectionality, gender and education inclusion - background paper commissioned for the 2021 UNESCO GEM Gender Review: Elaine Unterhalter, Lynsey Robinson and Maria Ron Balsera.
- Download (pdf): Achieving gender equality in and through education - a knowledge exchange consultation paper for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), 2018-2019: Elaine Unterhalter, Colleen Howell and Jenny Parkes.
- Rigorous review of literature on girls' education and gender equality in education - Department for International Development, 2014 and 2016: Elaine Unterhalter, Amy North and Jenny Parkes.
We offer a Masters in Education, Gender and International Development and a module on Gender, Education and Development.
We strive to integrate research into our teaching, from our own projects listed above, as well as from both a wider body of scholarship and engagement with civil society and international organisations.