Gender

Untangling inequalities: why power and intersectionality are essential concepts

Duncan Green - January 12, 2018

Guest post from Fenella Porter, Oxfam’s Gender Policy Advisor In the small and rather quirky Chapel of the House of St. Barnabas in Soho, a group of UK civil society representatives gathered together to have a conversation about inequality. After having been in many discussions recently which have struggled to extend the understanding of inequality beyond wealth, what was interesting in this forum was that …

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The Perils of Male Bias: Alice Evans replies to yesterday’s ‘Sausagefest’

Duncan Green - January 11, 2018

Yesterday’s post on Stefan Dercon‘s lecture got a lot of hits, but also some slaps for its perceived male bias. In response, Alice Evans (@_alice_evans, who memorably described Stefan’s list of top development thinkers as a ‘sausagefest’) put together this corrective account of women’s scholarship on development. Across the world, we tend to venerate men as knowledgeable authorities. These gender stereotypes are self-perpetuating: by paying more …

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Why is Support for Women’s Rights Rising Fastest in the World’s Cities?

Duncan Green - December 20, 2017

Guest post by Alice Evans Support for gender equality is rising, globally. People increasingly champion girls’ education, women’s employment, and leadership. Scholars have suggested several explanations for this trend: (a) the growing availability of contraceptives (enabling women to delay motherhood and marriage); (b) domestic appliances (reducing the volume of care work); (c) cuts in men’s wages and the rising opportunity costs of women staying at …

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How to stop men asking all the questions in seminars – it’s really easy!

Duncan Green - December 13, 2017

I spotted a short item on gender bias in academia in the Economist this week and tweeted it, which then went viral. The tweet read: ‘In academic seminars, ‘Men are > 2.5 times more likely to pose questions to the speakers. This male skew was observable only in those seminars in which a man asked first question. When a woman did so, gender split disappeared’. …

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After 6 years and 100+ impact evaluations: what have we learned?

Duncan Green - December 12, 2017

Longer projects don’t generate better results; women’s economic empowerment doesn’t seem to shift power imbalances in the home. Just two intriguing findings from new ‘metanalyses’ of Oxfam’s work on the ground. Head of Programme Quality, impact evaluation champion and all-round ubergeek Claire Hutchings explains. On this blog in 2011 we first shared our approach to ‘demonstrating effectiveness without bankrupting our NGO.’  A lot has happened …

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Do you have to be cold to be cool? Canada joins the Nordics as a world leader on rights.

Duncan Green - November 21, 2017

I was in Canada last week, having a lot of fun on a speaking tour with Oxfam Canada, followed by a couple of days with Oxfam Quebec in Montreal. One of the striking impressions is how much Canada’s foreign policy rhetoric echoes that of the Nordics in its focus on rights (an even more striking impression was that minus 20 degrees centigrade is really not …

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Book Review: The Aid Lab: Understanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Success, by Naomi Hossain

Duncan Green - September 19, 2017

Over the summer I read a few absolutely brilliant books – hence the spate of book reviews. This week I will cover two new studies on development’s biggest recent success stories – China, but first Bangladesh. How did Bangladesh go from being a ‘basket case’ (though ‘not necessarily our basket case’ – Henry Kissinger, 1971) to a development success story, claimed by numerous would-be fathers …

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Can the UK become a Human Economy?

Duncan Green - September 15, 2017

Rising inequality is a global problem. Oxfam inequality guru Deborah Hardoon appraises a new report on its manifestations in the UK. Last week the IPPR, a progressive policy think tank, published a new report, ‘A time for change: A new vision for the British Economy’, which argues that “the economy we have today is creating neither prosperity nor justice. This is not inevitable, but the …

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Living in interesting times: one year in the life of Oxfam’s Women’s Rights Director

Duncan Green - September 8, 2017

Nikki van der Gaag looks back on her first year as Oxfam’s Gender Justice and Women’s Rights Director. ‘May you live in interesting times’ is a Chinese saying that could equally be a promise or a curse. In the past decade, there can’t have been many more interesting times to be working on women’s rights and gender justice. I began my new post three months …

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Book Review: Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure, and Change Social Norms, by Cristina Bicchieri

Duncan Green - September 7, 2017

Alice Evans was raving about this book on twitter, so I scrounged a review copy and read it on holiday (that’s just how I roll). Verdict? A useful resource on an incredibly important topic (see my previous blogs), but sorry Alice, no cigar. Why important? Because norms are the neglected heart of development and social change – how people see themselves and their neighbours, what …

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