Gender inequality, reinforced by systems of oppression around the globe, perpetuates entrenched gender discrimination and systemic neglect. These structural forces are especially pronounced in communities with multiple marginalized social identities including, women of color, Indigenous people, migrants, people with disabilities, adolescents, LGBT people, and people affected by armed conflict and mass atrocities. Harmful practices and gender-based violence are perpetuated, which impact physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The world lacks basic data related to these communities’ socioeconomic and health status and are therefore frequently neglected by socioeconomic development programs. This is what the Population Council is working to change. 

We collaborate with locally rooted organizations, communities, and governments using context-relevant surveys, collect rigorous data, and create evidence-based solutions. We also recognize the need to develop robust survey measures and women living with multiple forms of discrimination in LMICs. This will allow us to amplify the visibility of these communities and provide reliable data that decision-makers can use to institute policies and programs to improve health and well-being of women living with multiple forms of discrimination in LMICs.

Recent highlights

Access to Education 

  • Partnered with national and local authorities in Guatemala for over 15 years, to improve educational prospects for Indigenous girls 
  • Conducted one of the few large-scale studies to examine the phenomenon of child domestic work in Ethiopia, based on findings it was recommended to provide opportunities for alternative basic education, life skills and financial literacy training in a flexible format adapted to the needs of domestic workers, most of whom are girls 

Civic Participation 

  • Convened Native American and Mayan Indigenous girl mentors to come together in dialogue to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and Meso-American countries 
  • Found that a skills-building curriculum focused on promoting gender equitable norms, voice, and agency has potential to influence early adolescent girls across multiple dimensions of empowerment in Bangladesh

Economic Empowerment 

  • Published insights on what interventions, especially group-based interventions, show promise in economically empowering adolescent girls and young women in low and middle-income countries 
  • Generated and synthesized rigorous evidence through The Evidence Consortium on Women’s Groups, to guide development partners, practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in implementing and strengthening programming and policies on women’s groups globally 

Gender Norms

  • Explored the factors that determine adolescents’ gender attitudes, as well as patterns in gender attitude shifts over time among younger and older adolescent boys and girls in India 
  • Undertaking a systematic review assessing the pathways through which education impacts child mortality, HIV, and fertility, including whether and how gender norms and attitudes play a role. 

Gender and Power Metrics 

  • Creating a publicly accessible and searchable database of gender- and power-related scales to facilitate the identification of validated scales for use in a given population or setting. As we expand the database the aim is to foster exchange and innovation in the development of gender and power measures
  • Developed the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS), a tool to measure power in sexual relationships for several age bands among adolescent girls and women. 

Violence Against Women and Girls 

Visibility of Gender Minority Voices in Data 

  • Listening to trans men and women in Nigeria to understand how multiple intersecting stigmas related to HIV status influence their ability to safely access HIV services  
  • Conducting community-based participatory research on the social determinants of transmasculine people’s mental health and access to care in India 
  • 1 in 3

    Women worldwide has experienced sexual and gender-based violence in their lifetime

  • 2.4 billion

    Women of working age (globally) are not afforded the same economic rights as men

  • 68%

    Of transgender women (globally) experience physical violence motivated by perception of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression

  • Every 11 minutes

    A woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family