Research on Gender and Women’s Issues

Multiethnic, multicultural women, illustration by melita/Adobe Stock

Gender and women’s issues encompass concerns for how the genders interrelate, their differences and the unique challenges they face in achieving social and political equality. These issues impact wide spanning areas of society from the workplace to international development, education and the family.

Contemporary events such as COVID-19 have exacerbated existing problems and revealed new concerns, increasing the need for evidence-based studies and analysis on the topic. RAND Europe’s research aims to increase understanding and better inform policy making surrounding gender and women’s issues. On this page we are proud to feature our most recent commentary, findings and ongoing research on women and gender.

Supporting victims of intimate partner violence

An increase in intimate partner violence has been a worrying consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic in EU member states and globally. There is an urgent need to understand which of the measures adopted by member states have proved effective. Researchers identified 27 practices that, to varying degrees, have ensured the continuity, accessibility and sustainability of support to women victims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding the benefits of military diversity

Most Armed Forces have criteria for who is, and who is not, eligible to join the profession and are therefore not equal opportunity employers. However, recent advances in technology have made warfighting more complex and broadened the skills required. Lack of diversity in the Armed Forces may therefore be omitting people who could benefit operations. RAND examines how increased diversity may create new strategic opportunities.

Evaluating a positive parenting intervention

Positive parenting is a key protective factor for healthy development in childhood. One example, Triple P, the Positive Parenting Program, is a parenting intervention targeted at parents of children up to 12 years old. RAND Europe looked at the programme in early year settings, ages 3 to 4, to discover its impact on children’s language and behavioural outcomes.

Incentivising return to work after parental leave

Employers in the EU have a wide range of options to incentivise parents of young children to return to work. Researchers examined the promising practices being used to support new parents in their return to work, to see what incentives work, what factors affect parents’ return and which demographics are choosing to return.

Juggling work and childcare during COVID-19

Since its outbreak in 2020, COVID-19 has significantly affected working parents and families across the EU. With widespread closures of schools and care settings, they have faced social and economic consequences in having to balance work with increased childcare. This report examines the policies introduced by 10 member states to support working parents, and assesses their features and impacts.

Understanding pregnancy research needs and priorities in the UK

There is mounting evidence that more pregnancy-related research is needed to improve outcomes for women and babies. Researchers reviewed the UK’s current research needs, priorities and expenditure in pregnancy, finding that while the NHS spends £5.8 billion on pregnancy-related care each year, only £51 million is invested in research. The study shows there is a case for further investment and identifies key areas to target funding.

Addressing the gender pay gap

The European Parliament is exploring new pay transparency measures as a means to support equal pay and address the gender pay gap. Researchers have discovered the clear potential this has to address discriminatory wage gaps, but also some key disadvantages that must be considered.