A female speaker at a conference ©Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock ID: 1156310920

Political parties’ responses to technology facilitated-GBV

This call is now closed.


Call for proposals: primary research partners 

Online violence, as well as offline violence, facilitated by technology are a grave concern for women in politics. It is one of the driving factors behind women withdrawing from politics, especially those who are further marginalized through intersecting systems of power such as race, age or sexuality. As many political parties and governments have committed to increasing women’s political participation, it is essential for them to address gender-based violence (GBV) experienced by women, and to keep up with the latest developments in technology facilitated (TF)-GBV in particular.

ALIGN is currently looking for two to three partner organisations in the global South for a new project - party responses to TF-GBV. In particular, we are looking for research organisations with relevant experience and expertise and access to political party representatives to co-lead on the research design and co-deliver data collection and analysis, and dissemination of its findings locally and globally. 


Gender norms are the implicit, informal rules that most people accept and follow in society. They describe how people of a particular gender are expected to behave in a given social context; and intersect with norms related to ethnicity, class, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, among other intersectional categories.

Gender norms permeate all institutions and aspects of society. They are affected by and effect pollical institutions and uphold inequalities based on gender differences in their intersections with other inequalities. This can be seen in existing studies of women’s experiences in political parties, which highlight violence within the structures, as well as lack of institutional policies and transparency to respond to such incidents (see for example OSCE 2022).

Since 2022, ALIGN and its partners have been investigating how gender norms effect women’s political participation at the local level. Studies from Nigeria, Nepal, Peru, and Zimbabwe completed in 2023 found two interlinked phenomena that negatively impact women's political power and lead to their exclusion and marginalization: gender norms in political parties, and TF-GBV against women in politics.

TF-GBV, especially online violence against women in politics, is an increasing, global concern against equal representation and democracy. It is situated within the rising anti-gender and anti-feminist backlash, and further aided by resistance from technology companies for greater regulations of their activities and responsibility to prevent and address such violence.

Looking at the intersection of these two factors – TF-GBV against women in politics and political parties - we have launched a new global research project: Party responses to TF-GBV. This project will seek to identify how social (gender) norms and other factors shape political parties’ responses to TF-GBV against women in politics and what practices can be adopted by political parties to address it and to create a more enabling environment. 

Research methodology

In particular, the project asks:

  • How do political parties view TF-GBV, its significance, and its impact on female members? 
  • How do political parties in their ideological, structural and administrative diversity, respond to TF-GBV against women in politics?
  • What factors shape their responses, including political systems, narratives and social norms?
  • What can political parties do to change norms within their structures to create more supportive structures for women experiencing TF-GBV to stay and thrive in politics?

This project will be a collaborative, co-created research across two or three country teams. During the initial stage of the project, methods will be co-designed and aligned to enable both context-specific learning and requirements, while at the same time facilitate cross-country learning and shared findings.

It is expected that the study will be a multi-method enquiry, with at least some interviews and literature and document reviews. However, each applicant is encouraged to propose other participatory and innovative research methods which are relevant to their research questions, context, skills and preferences, while also manageable within the time and budgetary scope.

There is no definition of politics or political participation that the project adopts at this stage with reference to ‘women in politics’. Applicants are encouraged to highlight which form of political participation or type of politics is relevant to them and should be the focus of the research. Final definition and scope will be decided collaborative at the start of the project.

The study focuses on the countries of the global South. As such, it fills an important gap in research on political parties and gender equality, which has been dominated by the countries of the global North. It is further interested in selecting countries with diverse conditions, including with regards to:

  • women’s active political participation – including existence of women-led political parties and governments, dominance of women’s wings, party level gender quota and legislation
  • GBV and violence against women in politics online and technology-facilitate
  • patriarchal gender norms
  • history and presence of feminist movements and activism
  • political competition for women’s vote 
  • social media use and internet penetration.  

Timelines, outputs and budgets

The project expected start date is August 2024, as soon as all research partners are selected and contracted, and will last approximately 15 months, including project dissemination.

The envisioned budget for each partner is between GBP £30,000 – £40,000.

Each partner organisation is expected to appoint a Research Lead, who will collaborate with the ALIGN Principal Investigator, the wider ALIGN team and other research leads and advisors on the project. 

The research partner organisation will be responsible for the following tasks. Please note, this list is indicative and not exhaustive and will be finalized in collaboration with the selected partners to ensure its appropriateness for each of the country contexts:

  • Develop a research workplan for their respective country in collaboration with ALIGN and other partners.
  • Co-design and pilot research instruments, in collaboration with ALIGN team and other partners.
  • Complete any ethical reviews required domestically and at ODI.
  • Conduct data collection, analysis and writing of a research report paper based on learning in their country (in English) and obtain peer review of the paper from peers with local context knowledge. This paper will be in the ALIGN format (we will provide publications and editing support). 
  • Deliver a presentation of learning at an ALIGN knowledge sharing event, webinar or virtual conference.

Who can apply?

This call is now closed.

How to apply

This call is now closed.