ZEF Gender Group

ZEF's Gender Group was established in early 2020 by a group of senior and junior researchers at ZEF from different academic disciplines with expertise in gender analysis. The group shares the interest and commitment to advance a gender-sensitive agenda in development research.

New publication

Gender in ZEF
A report on gender-sensitive research at ZEF.

Lead-author: Dennis Aviles, January 2022

Download (english) [PDF | 2.57MB]


The Gender Group (GG) aims to strengthen gender-sensitive research at ZEF and to promote interdisciplinary collaboration on gender issues among ZEF researchers. The group focuses on supporting senior and junior researchers in integrating gender perspectives in their research projects, addressing gender differences as researchers, developing gender studies curricula and material for inter- and transdisciplinary courses, and sharing publications and ideas on gender-sensitive research.

What does gender mean and why does it matter to us?

Gender equality and women’s empowerment have been defined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG5) as a fundamental human right and a key aspect of a prosperous and sustainable world. Despite improvements in gender-related indicators during the last decade, there are still pervasive social norms in place that prevent women to execute their full potential and consequently hinder social progress. Moreover, women’s experiences and particular vulnerabilities tend to be invisible and excluded from research and policy implementation.

Academia has a relevant role to play in the transformative process of achieving a world where access to rights and opportunities is independent of one’s gender (gender equality). It is important, for example, to avoid reproducing stereotypes that portray women as either saviors or victims based on claims that are rarely grounded on data and even more rarely generalizable. Reproducing them can hinder the design of policies that effectively reduce poverty and improve food security. What is more, women and men are not universal groups, but live individual experiences crossed by race, class, age and other context-related differences that position them into fluid relations of power.  Gender sensitive research acknowledges these differences and the fact that gender influences every aspect of social, economic, political, and personal life as well as power structures and relations.

Talking about gender is talking about a system of relationships that affects both men and women. Therefore, gender is as much about women empowerment as it is about concepts of masculinity. There is a need for research that informs on the intricacies of gender relationships and produces solid empirical evidence on how to eliminate gender inequalities and transform social norms. Only then we can contribute to policies that consider men’s and women’s situations in different societies and foster equal gender relationships.

Meetings and announcements

We meet every last Thursday of the month from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. in Room 1019 or via Zoom. We welcome new members and all others who are interested in gender-related issues and studies. 
To join a meeting or the group, please contact: Dennis Aviles: davilesi[at]uni-bonn.de or Tina Beuchelt: beuchelt[at]uni-bonn.de.

Topic of the next meetings:

24.11.2022: Presentation by Elizabeth Ndunda on “RAIDING LIVELIHOODS: WOMEN, VIOLENCE AND PEACEMAKING”.

08.12.2022: Evaluation meeting for the year 2022


Our favorite readings


Conducting Fieldwork While Female, or “Is Crit Always Legit?”. Available at:

Challenges facing female researchers in conflict settings. Available at:

de Jong, S., Icaza, R., Rutazibwa, O.U. (eds). (2019). Decolonization and Feminisms in Global Teaching and Learning. Routlege: London.

Jackson, R. & Kelly, M. (eds). (2019). Women Researching in Africa. Palgrave macmillan:Cham.

UNEP, UN Women, PBSO and UNDP. (2013). Women and natural resources: Unlocking the peaceful building potential. Online report available at:


ZEF. 2020. Strengthening women's decision power for gender Equality in children's education. ZEF Policy Brief 35. Download

Kabeer, Naila (1999): Resources, Agency, Achievements: Reflections on the Measurement of Women’ s Empowerment. Development and Change 30, S. 435-464.
Alkire, S., Meinzen-Dick, R., Peterman, A., Quisumbing, A., Seymour, G., & Vaz, A. (2013). The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index. World Development, 52, 71–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.06.007


Stone, Merlin (1978): When god was a woman. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (Harvest HBJ book).


Sands, R. G., Bourjolly, J., & Roer-Strier, D. (2007). Crossing Cultural Barriers in Research Interviewing. Qualitative Social Work, 6(3), 353–372. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325007080406

Own publications specific on gender (per year)

Special publications: 

January 2022. Gender in ZEF. Internal report, Lead-author: Dennis Aviles

Blog posts:

March 7, 2022: Why rural development cannot happen whilst Gender-based violence remains endemic across the world

April 29, 2020: Gender inequalities show and deepen in times of pandemic

Scientific articles

Avilés Irahola D.L. 2020. The concept of “Buen Vivir” from a decolonial feminist perspective (accepted in Radical Ecological Democracy, this year). (Article available at: https://www.radicalecologicaldemocracy.org/decolonial-feminism-and-buen-vivir/)

Munajed, D. A. 2020. An Intersectional Analysis of Syrian Women’s Participation in Civil Society in the Post-2011 Context. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Vol. 14, July 2020, pp. 103-16, doi:10.17192/meta.2020.14.8252

Beuchelt, T.D. and S. Nischalke. 2018. Adding a gender lens in quantitative development research on food and non-food biomass production: A guide for sex-disaggregated data collection. ZEF Working Papers No. 170, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn, Germany. (Open Access)

Nischalke, S.M., Abebe, M., Assefa, B., Keding, G.B., Kriesemer, S.K., Randrianarison, N., and T.D. Beuchelt. 2018. Gender challenges in horticultural research in Ethiopia and Madagascar. Acta Hortic. 1205, 137-146. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.16.

Gutierrez-Montes, I., Arguedas, M., Ramirez-Aguero, F., Mercado, L., & Sellare, J. (2018). Contributing to the construction of a framework for improved gender integration into climate-smart agriculture projects monitoring and evaluation: MAP-Norway experience. Climatic Change, 158, 93–106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2231-1

Nischalke, S.M., Abebe, M., Assefa Wondimagegnhu, B., Kriesemer, S.K., and T.D. Beuchelt. 2017. Forgotten Forests? Food Potential of Ancient Coffee Forests and Agroforestry Systems in the Southwestern Ethiopian Mountains, Seen Through a Gender Lens. Mountain Research and Development. Vol 37 (3), 254-262. Doi: 0.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-16-00096.1 (open access).

Beuchelt, T.D. 2016. Gender, Social Equity and Innovations in Smallholder Farming Systems: Pitfalls and Pathways. In: Franz W. Gatzweiler and Joachim von Braun (eds.): Technological and Institutional Innovations for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development. Springer. 181-198. (Open Access)

Beuchelt, T.D. and L. Badstue. 2013. Gender, nutrition- and climate-smart food production: Opportunities and trade-offs. Food Security, Vol 5 (5) : 709–721 .

Avilés Irahola, D.L., Antezana, I., Salazar, M., Yumisaca, F. and Fonseca C.  2010.  Gender Mainstreaming in three participatory methods: Horizontal Evaluations, Productive Platforms, and Participatory Market Chain Approach. International Potato Center. Lima, Peru. 56p.

Aviles Irahola, D.L. 2008. Report of the Gender Audit at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Final Report. Systemwide Program on Participatory Research and Gender Analysis, Cali, Colombia.93p.

Beuchelt, T.D. 2008. Support Networks of Rural Households. A Case Study of Risk-Management in Northern Vietnam. Kommunikation und Beratung - Sozialwissenschaftliche Schriften zur Landnutzung und ländlichen Entwicklung No. 86. Weikersheim, Germany: Margraf Publishers.

Members of the Gender Group

Senior Researchers

Junior Researchers

Further Group Members

Topics of the last meetings

06.10.2022: "Shifting to Female-Driven Climate Action" by Dennis Avilés Irahola. Watch it here.

28.04.2022: "The missing doctors - an analysis of educated women and female domesticity in Pakistan" by Dr. Mariam Mohsin (PIDE, Pakistan). Watch it here.                                                                                                                                                                          24.03.2022: Presentation by the working group: Gender & Environment
24.02.2022: Formation of three working groups: Gender & Environment, Gender and Violence, Gender and Work
27.01.2022: Evaluation of the activities in 2021 and planning for 2022
25.11.2021: ZEF GG event on the occasion of UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Gender-based violence and rural development outcomes. Read more here and watch the videos here: https://bit.ly/ZEFGG-Event
28.10.2021: "Analysis of Selected Value Chains of agricultural products with a Gender perspective. Women farmers and Street Food Vendors in Belize" by Dr. Patrizia Biermayr-Jenzano.
30.09.2021: "Gendered Impacts of Agricultural Commercialisation in the Kassena Nankana East Municipality, Northern Ghana" by Lani Marie Döhring.
26.08.2021: "Masculinities: some backgrounds and thoughts" by ZEF Senior Researcher Tina Beuchelt.
29.07.2021: "Gender and Climate Change" by Junior Researcher Marina Kovaleva.
24.06.2021: "Arab feminisms" by ZEF Researcher Dima Almunajed.
27.& 28.05.2021: Workshop on "Gender in Research & Development at ZEF". Read morehere
29.04.2021: "Gender violence and feminicide in the State of Mexico: The perception and actions of civil society organisations" by external researchers Oscar Del Valle Dávila and Jana Vasil'eva.
25.03.2021: “Analysis of Female Labor Force Participation in Pakistan” by Junior Researcher Hina Amber.
25.02.2021: “Empowerment of Girls and Women in Rural Pakistan: Migration, Decision-Making and Consciousness” by ZEF Junior Researcher Sundus Saleemi.
28.01.2021: “UN Women, Germany “by Bettina Metz, General Director of UNWomen.
17.12.2020. Fun Gender Christmas facts
26.11.2020. Arab feminisms by Dima Almunajed.
29.10.2020. Gender-based violence & feminicide (invited guest speaker)
24.09.2020. Feminists perspectives from the South: Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s work by Dennis Avilés.
27.08.2020. "Classification and Framing of Gender Identities in Urdu Textbooks for Secondary School Education in Punjab, Pakistan" by Junior Researcher Sofia Saleem.
30.07.2020. Presentation of course content for the Gender & Development interdisciplinary course and the research project "Gender gap in health outcomes among working age individuals and households: Does weather effects play a role?", by Emily Injete.
25.06.2020. ZEF Interdisciplinary course’s syllabus on gender.
28.05.2020. “Feminist perspectives from the North: Judith Butler’s theory” by PD Dr. Eva Youkhana
30.04.2020. "What does it mean to be a female researcher in the field?”
26.03.2020. [Cancelled] due to corona
27.02.2020. Engendering ZEF’s research
30.01.2020. Foundation meeting with planning of the year

Information on sexual harassment procedures at the University of Bonn

Workshop for female students
"Brave, strong and confident – dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination"

The central Gender Equality Office with its successful campaign against sexual harassment has drawn attention to this issue not only at the University of Bonn but also across organizations. To further raise necessary awareness, the Gender Equality Office has added new workshops to its portfolio.
» more information

Campus Security

If you require help or emergency support, please contact the police (phone: 110) and/or campus security

Phone of Campus Security: 0228 - 73 7444

=> all calls and support are confidential

This link brings you to the University of Bonn site regarding sexual harassment and procedures at the University of Bonn:

The University of Bonn has also guidelines regarding the handling of sexual harassment (only in German, version from 2011 which is currently reworked):

Information on equal opportunities at the University of Bonn

If you are interested in the activities of the University of Bonn regarding equal opportunities, please seek out this link:

More details are found only in German under:


Zentrale Gleichstellungsbeauftragte (Gender Equality Commissioner)
Sandra Hanke
Tel.: 0228 73 7490
E-Mail: gleichstellungsbeauftragte(at)zgb.uni-bonn.de


Dr. Dennis Lucy Avilés Irahola

Dr. Tina Beuchelt

Dr. Sundus Saleemi

PD Dr. Eva Youkhana