The 2016 ‘Gendered Innovations in the Social Sciences’ conference at the Australian National University focused on the positive contributions to the social sciences made by gender innovation. Following on from this, invited experts were asked to prepare case studies of how the understanding of fundamental questions has been improved by the application of a gender lens. A selection of these case studies are published here, illustrating the scope of gender innovation across social science disciplines. Each of the case studies begins with the gaps in knowledge that existed before gender perspectives provided a sharper focus and new policy insights.
The concept of emotional labour has provided a particularly robust foundation for the quest for gender pay equity over the last 35 years.
The discipline of economics has neglected subjects that particularly affect women, resulting in policies that have produced gender inequality in retirement income.
Breastfeeding and human milk provides an archetypical illustration of how feminist economic analysis has contributed new ways of thinking, and approaches to policymaking.
The study of women and electoral systems finds that the type of voting system is a key predictor of women’s electoral success.
Feminist intervention has shown that women and men experiencing poverty differently.
Feminist scholarship has highlighted the need to adopt broader definitions of ‘violence,’ and to recognise that the motives and means of political violence may be deeply gendered.
Feminist historians have complicated any clear binary between public and private spheres, redefined concepts such as ‘work’ and ‘politics’, and provided more inclusive histories.