Institute of Education


A school in Madagascar by Milijaona Randrianarivelojisoa


Knowledge creation relating to education, gender equity and empowerment

Theme leader: Dr Rosie Peppin Vaughan

Gender equality in education has prominence in a range of international declarations and national policy commitments. However, the meaning given to gender and whether or not there is a focus on issues of women's rights and empowerment is hotly debated.

Our research, teaching, and policy engagement looks at a number of themes around school related gender based violence, and policy work to address this, teacher education, and some of the psycho-social dimensions of work on gender. We also seek to explore some of the complexities engaged in translating gender equality policy between the global, national and local contexts, in ways that talk to the political and transformative concerns of women's rights activists at all levels from the grassroots to the transnational.

We have a special interest in the development of indicators around gender equality in education, aware both of their strengths and weaknesses.

Research projects

  • Accountability for gender equality in education: Critical perspectives on an indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - IOE in partnership with colleagues from South Africa, Malawi and the UK (2018-20, DFID/ESRC).
  • 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 (PI), Freya Johnson Ross, Rosie Westerveld, Jo Heslop, Elaine Unterhalter, William Nicholas.
  • Stop Violence Against Girls in School in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique (Big Lottery Fund/Action Aid) - Jenny Parkes (PI), Jo Heslop.
  • Transforming education for girls in Nigeria and Tanzania (TEGINT) (ActionAid, Comic Relief and the Tubney Charitable Trust).
  • Teacher education, teacher practice and approaches to gender and girls' schooling outcomes: A study in five Nigerian states (MacArthur Foundation/British Council).
  • Men and masculinities and fatherhood in global finance (ESRC).
  • Gender, education and global poverty reduction initiatives (DFID/ESRC).
  • Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI) in Northern Ghana (VSO/Comic Relief).
  • Exploring the causes and consequences of child marriage through elopement in rural Nepal (UCL Grand Challenges).
  • Transnational activism on gender and education in a multipolar world (UCL IOE Seed Funding).
  • Negotiating danger, risk and safety: An exploration with young people in an urban neighbourhood (ESRC).
  • Good Schools Study (MRC/DfID/Wellcome Trust).
  • Rigorous review of literature on girls' education and gender equality in education (DfID - 2014 & 2016).