Data and Evidence on Global Rollback of Women and Girls' Rights Since 2016

7th December 2020
Author: Jenny Birchall

In 2019, an evidence review commissioned by the gender equality team at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), looking at global rollback on women’s rights, identified a range of evidence to show that these rights, along with progress towards global gender goals, are being increasingly challenged on multiple fronts (Jobes et al., 2019, p. 1). The purpose of this further review is to consider additional data and evidence on this topic that has since been published. It sits alongside an accompanying review looking at rollback on gender equality and women’s rights in international fora since 2016 (Birchall, 2020). Since the publication of Jobes et al.’s review, the evidence base has been added to by a proliferation of studies in several areas. Firstly, 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the fourth World Conference on Women, prompting largescale reviews of progress and challenges. Secondly, as debates around “gender ideology” have intensified, and populist and conservative forces have increased their hold in several countries, further evidence has emerged on the threats to gender equality that these forces pose. Thirdly, as the Covid-19 pandemic threw every region and country into crisis, a body of research on the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and girls’ rights developed.

Suggested Citation

Birchall, J. (2020). Data and evidence on global rollback of women and girls’ rights since 2016. K4D Helpdesk Report 924. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


7th December 2020


Continent: Global