A Look at Progress in the
Global Development Approach

Strategies to improve gender equality have evolved in the past five years. The global development community has moved from simply raising awareness about gender inequality to developing and integrating solutions throughout society.

Gender equality is now widely acknowledged as critical to the success of sustainable development. Using a “rights-based” rather than “needs-based” approach is becoming more common, meaning gender equality is treated as a human right with stronger repercussions if not respected.

Along these lines, we no longer ask whether to include men in women’s rights efforts, but how we can engage men to transform harmful gender norms. Organizations that promote gender equality in their work are also beginning to incorporate the same philosophy in their internal operations and culture.

The question is no longer
“Why does gender matter?” but
“How can we integrate gender equality into all of our work?”
© LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH/Alamy


Dr. Anita Raj, director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health at the University of California, San Diego, speaks about utilizing IGWG in her work.
This infographic was created for the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).
Women’s Edition journalist Zofeen Ebrahim of Pakistan practices telling a story with infographics.
© Hero Images Inc./Alamy
This special interactive feature lets users explore how male engagement can improve health outcomes for both men and women, and benefit society.
© Andrew Faulk/500px Prime


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Who Speaks For Me?

PRB’s brief, “Who Speaks for Me? Ending Child Marriage” was cited and quoted directly in UNFPA’s State of World Population 2011 report and referenced throughout the International Committee for Research on Women's publication, Solutions to End Child Marriage. USAID used the brief to inform U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff in preparation for the Violence Against Women Act, passed in March 2013.

Influential Partners

PRB assisted the State Department in organizing a high-profile commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance in 2012, hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In her clarion call to abandon the practice, Clinton cited PRB materials before an audience of more than 200, including ambassadors and representatives from several African countries. A live stream to U.S. embassies in Africa amplified the global reach and the Twitter hashtag #EndFGM generated thousands of tweets.

IGWG: Community of Practice

PRB has positioned the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG) as an essential forum at the forefront of innovative thinking and collaboration within the broader gender community. The group size has more than doubled over five years with IDEA, extending global reach of the IGWG community by offering regular opportunities to share information and ideas.

Lens on Gender-based Violence

The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Task Force, which PRB co-chairs, hosted yearly events commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. With more than 100 attendees per event, these meetings discussed topics like the abuse of pregnant women during childbirth and the monetary cost of GBV. PRB partnered and collaborated with dozens of organizations and funders, including USAID, PAHO, and CARE, to reach a wide and diverse audience.

Comprehensive Gender Equality

PRB’s two-year activity studied and raised awareness of gender mainstreaming within international development organizations. The culminating publication, Pursuing Gender Equality Inside and Out: Gender Mainstreaming in International Development Organizations, resulted in an enormous outpouring of interest and requests for materials, information, and consultations.

© 2014 by Jonathan Torgovnik/Reportage by Getty Images, courtesy of the Hewlett Foundation



PRB’s gender work under IDEA has generated dialogue and highlighted the potential for gender transformative programs and policies to positively affect families, communities, organizations, and nations worldwide.

We have learned that:

  • Data have the power to raise awareness, change minds, and drive action. PRB’s innovative infographics and ENGAGE presentations on gender-related barriers and success stories show that well-presented data can have powerful impact.
  • As the world moves from the Millennium Development Goals to the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, gender equality should be both a specific goal and integrated into the targets and achievement of other goals.
  • Gender is intimately linked to rights and equity, and a gender-sensitive perspective will advance goals in these areas.
  • Recognizing that context and the changing local environment matter, partnering with stakeholders at the national, regional, and community levels is essential.
© 2014 by Jonathan Torgovnik/Reportage by Getty Images, courtesy of the Hewlett Foundation