Our Impact

ICRW puts gender at the center of everything we do. At the time of our founding in 1976, women and girls were invisible in international development programs and policies: ICRW’s research brought them into the frame, proving that advancements would only be possible with their inclusion. The evidence we have been uncovering ever since continues to refine the way gender inequities are understood and addressed in programs and policies around the world.

ICRW uses rigorous scientific methods to show how gender inequality underpins the world’s most pressing problems. Our intersectional, layered and multi-valent research helps identify barriers to upward mobility, and pathways for women and girls to particulate fully in global growth and prosperity.

Our research and advocacy efforts have helped change the trajectory of women’s lives around the globe:

Making women more visible in development.

ICRW was founded in 1976 by a group of feminist researchers who recognized women’s needs, concerns and contributions were not being addressed in international development.

Quantifying women’s economic contributions.

In its early years, ICRW quantified how women were contributing to the economy and their own households, influencing the trajectory of poverty relief and microfinance programs.

Putting child marriage on the map.

ICRW was one of the first organizations to conduct research and engage in advocacy around the impacts and root causes of child marriage.

Creating a gender-transformative approach to HIV prevention and care.

ICRW’s flagship ‘Women and AIDS’ research program was the first to demonstrate the ways in which gender and sexuality shape a woman’s vulnerability. ICRW coined the term ‘gender transformative’ to connote interventions that could successfully address these intersections.  This and later work on HIV-related stigma and discrimination led to our advocacy for structural approaches to prevention.

Laying the groundwork to understand online violence.

Our research is helping us better understand the problem and impact of “technology-facilitated gender-based violence” (TFGBV), a term popularized by ICRW.

We are committed to understanding how gender plays out across key, intersecting aspects of wellbeing—health, home, education and livelihoods—and with key aspects of a person’s identity. We know that concurrently addressing the multiple areas of experience that shape both discrimination and access to opportunity will deliver greater impact toward equity.

"Thanks to ICRW for once again producing the research we need to get the change we want."

– Gayle Smith, CEO of the ONE Campaign

Our proof drives fundamental social change. When we find insights and answers, ICRW gets them into the hands of decision-makers and practitioners.

The collective impact of our work has helped generate innovative programmatic solutions; drive the passage of new laws and policies that work for women and girls; and develop language and measurement frameworks that are transforming how we, as a global community, understand and measure progress toward gender equity. We provide tailored expertise to Fortune 1000 companies and global organizations to advance gender equity in the workplace and across supply chains.

Flagship program: Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) 

For more than a decade, ICRW has led programs in middle schools in India, Bangladesh, The Philippines and Vietnam to dismantle harmful gender norms, reaching more than 2.5 million students in 25,000 schools.

Flagship program: Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.)

With the Gap Foundation, ICRW developed the P.A.C.E. program, designed to provide skills training for women working in garment factories. has now been implemented in 300 factories in 16 countries, and was expanded to community settings to unlock new possibilities for women and adolescent girls.

Launching a bold, collective vision for Feminist Foreign Policy

As the world marked the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 2020, ICRW spearheaded the launch of a groundbreaking new vision and framework for Feminist Foreign Policy and Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States – an approach to foreign policy grounded in more than a year of research and global consultations to advance gender equality worldwide. 

Helping companies and leaders achieve their gender equality goals

Our advisory practice, ICRW Advisors, partnered with Nike to develop a resource hub to measure gender equity in the footwear, apparel and textile manufacturing sector. The hub helps factories advance gender-equitable policies and provides examples of best practices to help them reach their goals.

"I have known ICRW for literally the past 25 years, and I love how this team of gender experts is focused on solutions."

– Arvind Gupta, World Bank

A Snapshot of Our Partners