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Profiles

Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

Gender and development manager (Research)

Zahrah has extensive experience in women's rights and gender equality across organisations and within large-scale development projects. Her expertise has been developed through a range of research pieces, teaching, training, consultancy assignments, management and technical advisory roles. A human geographer with qualitative and participatory research skills, her experience cuts across a diverse scope of thematic areas: women’s economic empowerment, the care economy (paid and unpaid), urban development and infrastructure, social protection, food security and nutrition, as well as sexual and gender-based violence, engaging with men and boys and youth empowerment. She joined Innocenti in 2019 to work on the gender-responsive age-sensitive social protection (GRASSP) research programme. Prior to this, she was a Senior Technical Advisor on Women's Rights at ActionAid UK and an Africa Fellow in the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank Group. She previously worked at Social Development Direct as a Technical Specialist on Women's Economic Empowerment and earlier as a Research Fellow in the Cities Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Zahrah holds a PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies and an MSc in Urbanisation and Development - both from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in Human and Physical Geography from the University of Reading.

Publications

Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries
Publication Publication

Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries

The importance of mainstreaming gender into social protection policies and programmes is increasingly recognized. However, evidence on the extent to which this is actually happening remains limited. This report contributes to filling this evidence gap by drawing on the findings of two complementary research projects undertaken by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and UN Women in 2019. Using a specifically developed analytical framework, these two projects reviewed 50 national social protection strategies and 40 social protection programmes across a total of 74 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to assess the extent to which they incorporate gender equality concerns.

Articles

Gender, paid domestic work and social protection. Exploring opportunities and challenges to extending social protection coverage among paid domestic workers in Nigeria
Article Article

Gender, paid domestic work and social protection. Exploring opportunities and challenges to extending social protection coverage among paid domestic workers in Nigeria

Blogs

Researchers reflect on what inspired them to work on gender
Blog Blog

Researchers reflect on what inspired them to work on gender

I actually didn’t intentionally set out to work on gender and came to the issue in a roundabout way. I often joke that while I started out by studying what, in my opinion, is arguably humanity at its best (I have a degree in studio art!), I ended up working with humanity at its worse: violence against children and against women.
Caring in the time of COVID-19: Gender, unpaid care work and social protection
Blog Blog

Caring in the time of COVID-19: Gender, unpaid care work and social protection

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role of care work, particularly in times of crisis. While this could offer an opportunity for gender roles to shift within the home, emerging evidence suggests that care roles continue to be assumed disproportionately by women during this pandemic.

Journal articles

Protocol: Impact of social protection on gender equality in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A systematic review of reviews
Journal Article Journal Article

Protocol: Impact of social protection on gender equality in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A systematic review of reviews

Events

What does gender-responsive social protection have to do with the climate crisis?
Event Event

What does gender-responsive social protection have to do with the climate crisis?

(13 October 2021) With the increased recognition of the important role social protection plays in securing household and gender-equitable security and response to shocks, the webinar will feature a panel of leading experts on gender, climate change and social protection. These experts will convene to investigate what and how current social protection policies and programmes have addressed climate change impacts, and how gender responsive and age sensitive they are or not. It will discuss:
How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations?
Event Event

How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations?

Elena Camilletti and Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed presented "How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations? Evidence from low- and middle income countries" at socialprotection.org's e-conference.
GRASSP: Unleashing the potential of social protection for girls and women
Event Event

GRASSP: Unleashing the potential of social protection for girls and women

12 March 2019 - How social protection can better address life course vulnerabilities and break inter-generational cycles of poverty?