We believe gender analysis is key to understanding the complexities of the modern world and producing meaningful social change. Our cutting-edge research sheds light on matters of crime, sexuality, violence, media, employment relations, entrepreneurship, technology and social innovation.
Our work as a gender think tank is inspired by intersectional gender research.
Education Can End Abuse
Comprehensive sex and relationship education is crucial to counteracting gender-based violence
However, successfully delivering educational programmes on gender, sexual consent and abuse prevention often eludes both policy-makers and educators.
Our Education can end abuse project focuses on:
- assessing current provisions for sex, relationship and gender education at the national and international level
- mapping innovative teaching and awareness-raising practices, locally as well as globally
- unpacking the relationship between good quality education and effective violence prevention
- identifying appropriate policy interventions.
We also pay special attention to inclusivity, and make a point to acknowledge the multiple ways in which sexuality and gender intersect with issues of race, religion, class and disabilities.
The main outputs of this ongoing research programme include
- Our policy paper “Can Education Stop Abuse? Comprehensive Sexuality Education against Gender-Based Violence” – one of the very first studies to evaluate the quality and influence of sexuality education across all EU Member States, and the first research piece to systematically link sexuality education with gender-based violence prevention. The paper provides a clear framework to develop new educational guidelines, and in-depth recommendations for schools, universities, policy-makers and other stakeholder
- Our report “Consent Training and Sexual Violence Prevention in UK Universities”, based on desk research, focus groups, workshops, and an online survey involving consent trainers, students and staff in UK universities. It appraises how and why consent training can help prevent sexual violence on campus, and what else could be done to support practitioners and survivors.
- Our online course “Consent. What? Why?”, co-produced with German educational NGO Serlo – a series of interactive and freely accessible modules for students, parents and teachers, which clearly explains the complexities of sexual consent, demystifies inaccuracies and stereotypes, and provides usual and respectful guidance.
- Our conferences “Educational Approaches to Tackle Gender Based-Violence” (co-organised with the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation), and “#MeToo on Campus: Ending Sexual Misconduct in UK Universities” (co-organised with Westminster Briefing).
- Other useful info, analyses and resources here, here and here, together with some British and European press coverage. You can read our submission to the UK Department for Education’s call for evidence on sexuality education reform here.
And What About The Men?
Fostering collaborations between women and men towards a more gender equal world
At GenPol we deem important to acknowledge that we live in an unequal society, where women (especially BAME, queer, disabled and economically vulnerable ones) experience violence and discrimination disproportionately more often, and more intensely, than men. However, we passionately believe that men, too, are affected by gendered stereotypes, norms and culture.
This research and advocacy programme focuses on raising awareness on how patriarchy harm us all, and on fostering collaborations between people of all genders towards equality and social justice. We use this framework to inform training, educational and advocacy initiatives, as well as in our work with various partners.
To know more listen to our podcast “What role can men play in gender equality activism?” (co-produced with US social enterprise SOS Music Media).
Our approach to getting men involved in feminist work has also been featured by the BBC.
Gender & Organised Crime
Organised crime and patriarchy intersect
Gendered identities, rules and practices are crucial to the way mafia groups work, to their recruitment system, and to how discipline is maintained within their ranks. At the same time, insights on the gendered side of mafia can be of huge help to those fighting against various forms of violence and oppression.
This project, which adds an advocacy dimension to the academic study carried out by our CEO Dr Lilia Giugni and her colleague Prof. Paul Tracey at the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, unpacks the relationship between patriarchal and mafia power. It also investigates the potential for feminist resistance in vulnerable districts with a strong mafia presence.
When Technology Meets Misogyny
Digital violence is real, and harms millions worldwide
Online abuse is a specific form of violence against women, it works intersectionally, and includes phenomena as serious as revenge porn, cyber stalking, unsolicited pornography, gender-based harassment and cyber trafficking.
However, the gendered nature of the problem is still poorly understood, and its impact vastly underestimated. Our ongoing research programme focuses on:
- raising awareness about digital violence as a type of gender-based abuse
- identifying pragmatic solutions and best practices at multiple levels
- mapping effective educational tools, preventive policies, legislative interventions and strategies to support survivors and the organisations that work with them.
Among our main outputs:
- Our policy paper “When Technology Meets Misogyny: Multi-level, Intersectional Solutions to Digital Gender-Based Violence”– it analyses good practices at the local, national and transnational levels, and recommends solutions and actionable points for policy makers, employers, tech companies, women’s rights organisations and educators.
- Our themed events, including the launch seminar “Digital gender-based violence: can education stop abuse?” at the European Parliament (in collaboration with Planned Parenthood, European Women’s Lobby, European Lesbian Conference and SOS Music Media), speaking gigs at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas and 2019 PES Women Annual Conference, and training workshops for teachers and parents.
- Our submission of evidence on digital gender-based violence for the EU 2020-2024 Gender Equality Strategy.
- More analyses and resources here and here, and some press coverage here, here and here.
Tackling Gender-Based Violence in Organisations
Organisations are gendered…
…and discrimination and violence against women (as well as minorities and other historically marginalised groups) play out in many, more and less visible ways
We are passionate about unveiling inequalities within organisations’ practices, cultures and discourses. Using an intersectional perspective, our researchers, activists and guest authors have studied sexism and social injustice (and taken action against these) across spaces as diverse as academia, socialenterprises, the technology and publishing industries, the arts and entertainment sector, politics and policy making.
We also looked into issues of representation, the gender pay gap, the role of feminist networks, care workand parental care reforms, the gendered side of migration policy, and into redefining mental health as a political, and gendered issue. Above all, we devoted special attention to different ways to research, monitor and tackle gender-based violence.
Some of our outputs include:
- An in-depth analysis of the ways organizational processes contribute to perpetuate gender inequalities.
- A series of case studies of legislative approaches to sexual abuse in the EU.
- A review of the trans-disciplinary literature on gender and mental health.
Insights from this broad, collective project inform our approach to advocacy, training, public speaking and consultancy. You can read what media have written about our work in this area here, here and here.”
Civil & Social Rights: Connecting the Dots, Building Coalitions
Intersectional feminism is not only a precious analytical tool, but also a solid ground on which to build progressive alliances towards social change
In these years, we have worked with local, national and international groups to explore, foster and maintain synergies between women’s rights and other social justice movements.
Among the main outputs of this ongoing work there are:
- Connecting the Dots – an action research project carried out by GenPol and Italian civil society organisations Zero 81, Cooperativa Giancarlo Siani, ALFI. Through workshops, public talks, training and writing, it aims to stimulate reflection on the intersections between various forms of oppression, and encourage and strengthen collaborations between activists, researchers and civil society actors in Italy.
- Our research, training and advocacy initiatives on cross-movement and cross-sector alliances internationally, which inform our consultancy work with various organisations. Read more about our perspective here.
Our research programmes combine a wide range of research methods and build on the principles of Action Research. Relying on the expertise of our team of multilingual and transdisciplinary researchers, we collect and analyse robust and insightful data at multiple levels and in different countries.
Our research outputs include:
- Tailored policy recommendations (reports, audits, guidelines, expert advice, commissioned research)
- Workshops and facilitation meetings
- Training, Conferences, Mentoring