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Gender Equality and Development

Cultures and Gender Equality  
Cultures and Gender Equality
Our aim is to foster values and institutional changes that reinforce equality between women and men, boys and girls through research and analysis of gender in specific social and cultural institutions, including legal frameworks, and development of programmes that advance gender equality.
Gender inequality manifests itself in the family, labour market, political-juridical structure, and in cultural-ideological production. At the same time, gender relations interact with other relations of inequality based primarily on social class but also on race, caste, religion, and sexuality to structure institutions and daily life. In this regard, it is important to understand and recognize how values, norms, and practices that are embedded in particular domains or social institutions may foster inequality, reinforce power differentials between the sexes, or perpetuate violence against women.

Article 5 of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination aginst Women (CEDAW) stipulates that countries should modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women to promote equality of men and women and, through research, examine the interface between the role of culture and socio-legal institutions as major factors that contribute to inequality. In this regard, our work includes:

  • Comparative action research that identifies both the obstacles to and the possibilities for gender equality in social/cultural institutions, particularly the family, community, media, education, and religious-cultural life, as well as in the juridical domain.
  • Dissemination of research findings among actors in the design and implementation of social policies and the evaluation of institutional and organizational cultures.
  • Working with local and regional advocacy groups to develop programmes, projects, or centers at the local level that foster gender equality in the specific socio-cultural arenas.
  • Working with governmental and non-governmental organizations to promote women’s participation in governance, higher education administration, and the judiciary.
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Photo: Ashayer (nomad) Woman Henghameh Fahimi

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