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Knowledge Transfer in Global Gender Programmes: The Case of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and Gender-Biased Sex Selection

Project description

Helping to eliminate gender discrimination at birth

The biologically normal sex ratio at birth ranges from 102 to 106 males per 100 females. However, ratios higher than normal – sometimes as high as 130 – have been observed in some south Asian, east Asian and central Asian countries. This is an issue related to a systematic preference for boys and part of social norms that place greater value on sons than daughters. This global challenge has been addressed with global policy solutions carried out by the United Nations. The EU-funded GlobalKnoT project will study how relevant programmes can work across cultures and policy regimes. It will shed light on how knowledge is transferred through the two programmes on female genital mutilation/cutting and gender-biased sex selection. The findings will help to optimise knowledge diffusion to improve societal understanding and accelerate policy change.


Global challenges require global policy solutions. The Global Programme to Prevent Son Preference and Gender-biased Sex Selection (2017-2019) and the Joint Programme on the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (2018-2021), both co-funded by the European Union (EU) and carried out by the United Nations (UN), are representative of a range of new initiatives that seek to share knowledge and enact policy change across different jurisdictions. Despite the promise of such global programmes, however, the challenges involved in working across different cultures and policy regimes may prevent them from fully achieving their goals. Very little is known about how knowledge is transferred through these programmes and how it translates into concrete policy. GlobalKnoT assesses knowledge transfer in the Global Programmes on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Gender-biased Sex Selection (GBSS) to inform academics, practitioners and the public about their functioning and efficacy in providing solutions to global public challenges. By applying the Actor-Network Theory to global policy studies and drawing from policy files, participant observation during international conferences, and expert interviews with UN, WHO and EU officials and policy makers, this project provides a detailed map of the actors and networks involved in global policy. It informs us how knowledge diffusion can be optimized to accelerate change towards eliminating two pervasive forms of gender discrimination and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Net EU contribution
€ 239 956,80
1100 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 239 956,80

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