Sexuality, Gender and Development

39 resource(s)


Sexuality and development: An annotated bibliography
Hawkins, K. (ed)
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2013)

This annotated bibliography brings together all of the outputs which have been published by the IDS coordinated Sexuality and Development Programme since its inception. 


Intersectionality framework to track budgets for transgender communities in Tamil Nadu
Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices (2013)

This study aimed to analyse state and union budgetary commitments for the transgender communities as well as their uptake in India on one hand and to document various forms of discrimination, exclusions and violations of rights faced by transgender communities in Tamil Nadu on the other.

Living on the Periphery: The Khawaja Siras of Pakistan
Majeedullah, A.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2016)
  • The gender-identity programme has given Khawaja Siras a way to feel safe and secure.
  • The programme could, if it chooses, to grow in the way this study identifies, possibly make long-term impacts on the way the heteronormative society of Pakistan conceptualises gender and sexual minorities.

Thsi report highlights that people with non-conforming gender and sexual identities living in poverty are rendered invisible in development. In an attempt to counter this invisibility, this report investigates the experiences of exclusion encountered by Khawaja Siras, a gender and sexual minority in Pakistan.

'Leave No One Behind': Gender, Sexuality and the Sustainable Development Goals
Mills, E.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2015)

To work towards inclusive development that addresses social exclusion, development actors need to shape and implement development policies that ensure:

  • That all people irrespective of their sexuality and gender identity are actively protected against social, economic and political forms of discrimination.
  • That health, education, and social protection resources that contribute towards individual wellbeing and overall socioeconomic development are made available to all those in need, leaving no one behind. 

The findings in this report are based on a review of empirical literature on sexuality, gender and development, including primary research conducted on the IDS Sexuality, Poverty and Law programme. In mapping these findings against the brand new SDG framework, the report highlights the importance of SOGIE-inclusive development in the post-2015 era.

Religion, Gender and Sexuality Workshop Report: 1–5 June 2015, Garden Court Hotel, Eastgate, Johannesburg
Marks, B; Charles, T; Mills, E; McEwen, H
Institute of Development Studies (2015)
  • This report came out of a Religion, Gender and Sexuality workshop, hosted by Sonke Gender Justice, MenEngage Africa, Institute of Development Studies and Wits Centre for Diversity Studies in Johannesburg, South Africa. 
  • Religious doctrine shapes and informs decision-making at the individual and collective levels, and sexuality and gender rights advocates must therefore work with faith-based organisations and religious activists to challenge harmful and discriminatory sexuality and gender norms and practices. 

The workshop provided a space for faith leaders and those engaging with faith institutions to discuss successes, challenges and learning around sexual diversity and gender justice.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals and LGBT inclusion
Dorey. K.
Stonewall (2016)

In response to the Sustainable Development Goals, this paper argues that lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people worldwide must be included properly in aid and development spending. It highlights that LGBT people are disproportionately affected by the challenges that the SDGs are intended to solve.

A scoping study on the role of faith communities and organisations in prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence: Implications for policy and practice
Le Roux, E.
Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (2015)

The scoping report explores the role of faith communities in preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence.

Revitalizing the fight against homophobia in Africa
Downie, R.
Center for Strategic & International Studies (2014)

This report examines the implications for US health and policymakers to consider when it comes to the criminalization of homosexuality in many African states and the decision by Uganda and Nigeria to impose increasingly draconian punishments on homosexual conduct.

Same-Sex Sexualities, Gender Variance, Economy and Livelihood in Nepal: Exclusions, Subjectivity and Development
Coyle, D and Boyce, P.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2015)
  • The poverty and poor socioeconomic conditions in which many sexual and gender minority peoples live should be addressed through holistic initiatives that extend beyond skills training 
  • Initiatives addressing discrimination and socioeconomic marginalisation should be mainstreamed within pre-existing development projects
  • Specifically within the context of Nepal, avenues for people of sexual and gender minority experience to receive formal recognition and certification of their education, skills and qualifications is imperative for chances to obtain employment

This case study explores the relationship between socioeconomic opportunity and exclusion in relation to minority gender and sexualities in Nepal.

Policy Audit: A heteronormativity audit of RMSA - a higher education programme in Indian schools
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2013)
  • Fears about sexuality are a key reason for parents withdrawing girls from secondary education. This includes fears about girls' expressing their desires as well as fears about sexual violence.
  • The only place where sexuality is addressed in the examinable curriculum is through human reproduction in science textbooks. Evidence suggests that this is often taught inadequately as teachers feel inhibited and lack the skills to deliver the content appropriately.

This report shares the findings of a sexuality and gender audit of a national government programme to strengthen secondary school education in India (i.e. the last four years of schooling).

Education policies in Brazil
Mountian, I.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2014)
  • Research indicates that many trans young people, and poor trans youth in particular, drop out of education or under perform due to bullying and violence in Brazilian schools.
  • Religious moral conservatism has played a big part in the failure of the 2004 'Brazil without Homophobia' programme to achieve its objectives of combating discrimination and supporting sexual diversity in the education system.

This audit analyses key aspects of public policies in education and sexuality in Brazil, which have been designed as part of the wider programme Brazil Without Homophobia (BWH – Programa Brasil sem Homofobia), launched in 2004.


African sexualities
Tamale, S. (ed)
Pambazuka Press (2011)

This book provides a critical mapping of African sexualities to inform readers about the plurality and complexities of sexualities on the continent. It also poses gender-sensitive and politically aware questions that challenge the reader to interrogate assumptions and hegemonic sexuality discourses.

Third world protest: Between home and the world
Rao, R.
Oxford University Press (2010)

This book asks how we should think about the boundaries of states in a world where threats to human rights emanate from both outside the state and the state itself? Arguing that attitudes towards boundaries are premised on assumptions about the locus of threats to vital interests, the book digs beneath two major normative orientations towards boundaries-cosmopolitanism and nationalism-which structure thinking on questions of public policy and identity.

Development, sexual rights and global governance
Lind, A.
Routledge (2010)

This book addresses how sexual practices and identities are imagined and regulated through development discourses and within institutions of global governance.

Sex and the Citadel. Intimate life in a changing Arab world
El Feki, S.
Chatto & Windus, Penguin (2014)

This book explores the sexual lives of people in Egypt and across the region. It uses sex as a lens through which to examine the region's complex social landscape, especially as it is so entwined in religion and tradition, politics and economics, gender and generations.

Sexuality, health and human rights
Correa, S., Petchesky, R. and Parker, R.
Routledge (2008)

This booksurveys how rapid changes taking place at the start of the 21st century in social, cultural, political and economic domains impact on sexuality, health and human rights.

Feminisms, empowerment and development
Cornwall, A., Edwards, J.
Zed Books (2014)

This book explores what women are doing to change their own personal circumstances and provides an analysis of collective action and institutionalised mechanisms aimed at changing structural relations.

Practical guides

Sexuality, Development and Non-conforming Desire in the Arab World: The Case of Lebanon and Egypt
Mohamed, M.S.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2015)
  • Neither Egypt nor Lebanon can be said to offer social or legal environments that are supportive of sexual and gender nonconformists (SGNs) – at least not at the present time.
  • Lebanese police and judiciary continue to target SGNs, particularly those from the most disadvantaged parts of society. However, some of Lebanon’s SGNs can now count on the social and legal backing of a steadily growing pro-SGN circle.
  • Egypt still retains its colonial-era laws regulating sex.
  • Although Egypt’s Constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the state’s harassment of SGNs clearly contradicts Articles 58 and 57 of the current constitution.

This report focuses on the rights of sexual and gender nonconformists in Egypt and Lebanon. It explores the somewhat similar social attitudes towards sexual and gender nonconformity and follows the divergent trajectories of both countries with regards to sexual rights activism.

Lessons in activism from Vishtar

This guide provides background on a number of tools for advocacy and social mobilisation, direct action, education for transformation, community transformation and designing a learning event. It draws on the reflections of participants in the Vishtar’s Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation in India.

Policy advocacy toolkit: How to influence public policy for social justice and gender equality in Africa
Sonke Gender Justice (2013)

This policy advocacy toolkit was developed to assist African civil society organisations. The resources address issues related to the achievement of gender equality; the prevention of HIV and AIDS and gender-based violence; the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights; as well as involved parenting and the rights of LGBTI people.

Engaging with the media a companion to the advocacy toolkit for influencing the post-2015 development agenda
Thomas, D.
Sustainable Development 2015 (2014)

A toolkit produced to support effective media engagement to influence the post 2015 agenda.

The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook: A Guide to Gender
Killerman, S.

This 'pay what you want' e-book (or free through social media) is a guide to understanding gender from a social justice perspective. It includes gender exploration, social justice 'how-tos', practical resources, and graphics.

Clips and documentaries

Caught between a tiger and crocodile
Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) (2012)

Caught between the tiger and the crocodile

Sex Workers talk about the impact of the Anti Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Law in Cambodia.

Gender against men
Forced Migration, Refugee Law Project

Gender against Men

A film that exposes the hidden world of sexual and gender-based violence against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes Region.

Digital mapping and visualisation tools

Creative Nepal – expressions of sexuality and gender
Boyce, P. and Coyle, D.
Creative Nepal, Institute of Development Studies

This website is the product of research conducted by members of Nepal’s sexual and gender minorities in collaboration with Paul Boyce and Daniel Coyle as part of a larger research project on sexuality and law around the world. 


HarassMap uses mobile and online technology together with an offline community mobilisation effort in neighborhoods throughout Egypt to map incidents of sexual harassment and violence.

Newspaper articles & blog posts

Ending violence against sexual and gender minority women - a critical development challenge
Crehan, P. and Mccleary-Sills, J.
The World Bank Voices (2015)

This blog post discusses violence against Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women as a multi-faceted development issue.

Deepening gender and development analysis, addressing violence
Glass, D.
IDS (2015)

Dan Glass reflects on his experiences of Vishtar’s Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation in India.

#LoveAwards – young Kenyans compete to produce songs on pleasure and sexuality
Peeters, A. and Honderos, I.
IDS: Sexuality, Poverty and Law (2015)

Participants in the first Love Matters Music Award were coached by international experts and had the chance to perform their songs live to a live audience. In this blog post, workshop facilitators Arno Peeters and Iris Honderos, report on the learning processs and share insights into creating messages through music.

If the Pope wants to end violence in Africa he must talk about sex
Oosterhoff, P.
IDS: Sexuality, Poverty and Law (2015)

If Pope Francis’s mission is to push for an end to violence and for peace and reconciliation, sex education and sexual violence need to be high on his agenda argues Pauline Oosterhoff.

Visualisation as storytelling: adding ‘process’ to the ‘pretty’
Colmer, S.
IDS (2015)

Simon Colmer on his learning while visualising online survey data after using these techniques as part of research on transgender peoples and livelihood options in Vietnam.

Gender, sexuality and the SDGs: An evidence-base for action
Mills, E.
IDS (2015)

Elizabeth Mills explores her recent report on the Sustainable Development Goal framework. She highlights the importance of language, evidence from the Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme and the roles of international institutions and the UK government.

Intersectionality of sexuality, inequality and poverty
Yingwana, N.
IDS (2015)

Ntokozo Yingwana talks about her work coding, analysing and summarising IDS Sexuality, Poverty and Law programme Evidence Reports. She summarises the findings and recommendations under the theme, 'economy, employment and livelihoods'. 

Fighting for sexual equality? Why we must engage the aid industry
Wood, S.
IDS (2015)

Blog post by Stephen Wood for IDS in which he explains his argument that sexuality needs to be championed as a core concern of development.

Towards an equal platform and language for popular education
Laverick, D.
IDS (2015)

As a participant in Vishtar’s Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation in India, Dan Laverick talks about his experiences, including sharing learning with others, the meaning of poverty and understandings of gender.

Understanding sexuality and disability in China
He, X.
IDS (2014)

Blog post by Xiapei He for IDS, which talks about the work of the Pink Space NGO to explore the sexual desires and needs of people with disabilities in China.

Aid conditionality and the limits of a politics of sexuality
khanna, a.
IDS: Participation, Power and Social Change (2011)

This blog post argues that the idea of ‘sexuality’ as political object and the perpetration of a racialised discourse of difference that highlights the colonial continuities in ‘development’.

Sexuality, development and continued colonialism?
Wood, S.
IDS: Participation, Power and Social Change (2013)

This blog post argues that while it is important for LGBT rights to play a greater role in UK foreign policy outlook, cracks in the government’s new positive approach are beginning to show.

Julie Burchill, silo mentalities and international (trans)gender equality
Wood, S.
IDS: Participation, Power and Social Change (2013)

This post argues that the transgender and bisexual rights agendas are viewed as marginal or quietly ignored in favour of the 'broader' gay equality agenda.

The resources in this section have been recommended by colleagues at the Sexuality and Development programme at IDS and our global partners. If you would like to suggest another report to include here please email the details to