Research, Policy and Advocacy
We are all responsible for advancing women’s human rights, and policy-makers are no exception. With the right laws, policies and programs, and funding that reflects the size of the task, we can transform the barriers that hold women back.
Research matters and proof is convincing. It’s harder for politicians and decision-makers to ignore human rights violations in the face of powerful evidence. IWDA conducts strategic and influential research to advocate for laws and policies that stand up for women’s rights. Building awareness of research findings continues well after the research itself is completed.
Ensuring our ideas and evidence are seen and used by policy-makers, practitioners and advocates is key to change. It is an ongoing part of IWDA’s work to develop practical, engaging evidence-based tools to assist others to act, advocate and impact policy.
Do No Harm: investigating the relationship between money and violence
In the Pacific, 60% of people live in rural areas. Women and men support themselves and their families through subsistence agriculture. Women do most of the farming for household consumption, and sell and buy most of the produce. Often, they are also involved in paid work.
Yet, banks are hard to reach. In Solomon Islands for example, 85% of women do not have access to a bank account, and there are few bank branches outside the capital city. Many women must come up with their own ways of storing money at home. In communities with high rates of violence against women, keeping money at home can put women in danger. We need to understand how to empower women economically and improve their access to money without putting their safety at risk.
IWDA and the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at the Australian National University are researching the relationship between women’s money and security, with funding from the Australian Government.
The Individual Deprivation Measure
The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty. It has been developed to assess deprivation at the individual level and overcome the limitations of current approaches to poverty measurement.
The four-year IDM program involves collecting additional IDM data, developing the IT to facilitate collection and use, developing curriculum, and a communications outreach to build knowledge.
By 2020 the IDM will be ready for global use, and as a measure that encompasses more about the individual, it will be a tool for tracking how development is changing the lives of the world’s most deprived.
IWDA is deeply proud of the measure, it represents the single largest investment of public funds IWDA has made towards a project. We believe the IDM will revolutionise global poverty measurement and are proud to work alongside the Australian National University and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver the measure by 2020. Read more about the Individual Deprivation Measure.
The intersecting relationships between gender, disability and poverty mean that women with disabilities face even greater disadvantage and often fall through the cracks when it comes to research and resources. Women with disabilities are frequently marginalised from development activities, not counted in research and are not well served by disability or gender-focused organisations. But with little to no data on the lived experiences of Cambodian women with disabilities it is incredibly difficult to address this. IWDA partnered with Banteay Srei, CBM Australia, Cambodia Disabled Persons Organisation and Monash University to complete a three year study looking at the links between disability and violence for women in Cambodia.
The research showed that while women with disabilities face similar levels of violence from partners to women without disabilities, they experience much higher levels of emotional, physical and sexual violence by other family members. Women with disabilities were much more likely to be insulted, made to feel bad about themselves, belittled, intimidated, and were five times more likely to experience sexual violence at the hands of a family member. They were also less likely to disclose and seek help following violence.