Exploring the transformative power of feminist research to address knowledge gaps in sexual and reproductive health rights and gender-based violence
Many organizations and donors, including IDRC, are increasingly invested in supporting gender-transformative research efforts, defined as those aiming to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls not just for individual progress, but to transform gender power dynamics and structures at the community and societal level.
Understanding how shifts in gender and power relations happen and the contributing factors to these shifts, including the role of research, is critical. Yet, these processes are seldom captured. To address this knowledge gap and inform IDRC’s programming directions on gender, the Centre launched a call for proposals targeting new partners to carry out action research using feminist approaches.
This project is one of the four selected to contribute to locally grounded evidence on gender-transformative change — in this case, addressing how the lack of knowledge and awareness of sexual reproductive and health rights and access to services is leading to an increase in gender-based violence, particularly against adolescent girls. This project proposes to conduct gender-transformative research on the intersection of these two critical themes in adolescent populations in India. Accompanying capacity strengthening and communications activities will contribute to the robustness of the findings and their potential use.
The project lead, Oxfam Canada, in collaboration with Oxfam India, will engage local organizations to apply feminist participatory methodologies, including focus group discussions and photovoice (where participants document aspects of the project’s research in their communities with photos), with an aim to inform policy recommendations that can render sexual and reproductive health rights systems more gender-equal and better suited to address gender-based violence.