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.
Understand poverty. Inspire change.
Equality Insights is a gender-sensitive measure of poverty and flagship initiative of IWDA. The program is underpinned by twelve years of research and collaboration with multiple partners. The survey that underpins it asks individuals questions about many aspects of their life to better understand their unique circumstances. The results inspire and support targeted change.
By revealing the realities of those who are otherwise left invisible, Equality Insights provides an evidence base for policy-makers, women’s rights organisations and their communities and other advocates for equality and justice. This is a foundation for IWDA’s advocacy for, and contribution to, better gender data to achieve equality, rights, opportunities and freedom for individuals and communities. IWDA joins with women’s rights organisations, movements, and other advocates in working for the changes that will make this possible. Data plays an essential role in revealing inequalities and the barriers that sustain them.
Equality Insights is a vehicle for transformative, systemic change and builds on IWDA’s commitment to shifting systems and structures, behaviours and attitudes, data and analysis, that stand in the way of equality for all.
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.