Based in Washington, DC, USA, the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya and New Delhi, India. To empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty, ICRW works with partners worldwide to do research, build capacity and use evidence to press for improved policies and programmes.
ICRW has undertaken policy-relevant research on women’s economic and social empowerment and HIV for decades. As a STRIVE partner, ICRW brings more than 20 years of experience in implementing large-scale HIV/AIDS interventions and expertise in key structural drivers of HIV vulnerability and transmission:
- stigma and discrimination,
- men and masculinity, and
- alcohol, gender and HIV.
Of direct relevance to the STRIVE consortium, ICRW has undertaken:
- the research underpinning India’s 2005 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,
- research and advocacy galvanizing global attention to the issue of child marriage,
- a project to assess and improve the gender responsiveness of national-level HIV planning, and
- a gender advisory role in developing Uganda and Cambodia’s National Strategic Plans on HIV and AIDS.
Historically, ICRW has had significant impact. During the 1980s, ICRW research in Latin America demonstrated that poor women would repay small loans if credit programmes were designed for them. Today, millions of poor women worldwide benefit from microfinance programmes. In the 1990s, ICRW was among the first to document the impact of AIDS on women, particularly the intersection of economic dependency, violence and vulnerability to infection.
Beginning with a Women and AIDS Research Programme – 27 studies in 15 countries on the social, economic and gender factors fuelling the spread of HIV/AIDS among women – ICRW gained recognition as a leading research organization in HIV prevention.
All of ICRW’s work tackles gender roles and inequalities. STRIVE will draw on ICRW’s work to:
- understand and transform harmful gender norms that condone or justify gender-based violence,
- develop national and comparative tools to analyse existing policies,
- use the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) to measure men’s behaviours and attitudes
- examine how national policies involve men in gender equity goals, and
- provide practical guidance on integrating gender into national programmes to governments (Cambodia and Uganda) and international bodies.
On stigma and discrimination, ICRW has worked with partners to:
- develop Understanding and Challenging HIV Stigma: A Toolkit for Action,
- field-test stigma indicators that can assess the underlying drivers of stigma and the extent of discrimination,
- run stigma-reduction intervention studies,
- measure the costs of inaction on stigma within HIV programming,
- model the impact of stigma on vertical transmission and on prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), and
- form a Global Knowledge Network on HIV Stigma and Discrimination.
On alcohol use, ICRW is designing, implementing and assessing interventions to reduce heavy drinking and decrease alcohol-related sexual risk behaviour. The first demonstration project is in Katutura, Namibia. In most impoverished urban areas of Southern Africa, women rely on income from home production and sale of alcohol in shebeens.