Our Approach

Our Approach

The British Council’s work on women and girls is based on a holistic approach that tackles gender inequalities from a number of perspectives and demanding action from a number of stakeholders. It recognises that change is needed to support women and girls’ awareness, capacities and abilities, as well as creating opportunities and an enabling environment for empowerment. 

Based on this definition, the British Council aims to provide opportunities through the creation of spaces in which women and girls can grow and thrive – so opportunities that can deliver real change in a woman’s confidence, self-perception and ability to make decisions that will affect her life. 

The British Council collaborates with partners from different sectors to influence policy and practice – in some cases at the local level and in some others at the national level. Programmes supported by the British Council aim to create opportunities for the women and girls they reach. Different groups of women and sometimes girls are engaged in programmes that promote education, art, the prevention of violence and representation in decision-making and influencing, peace-building and economic opportunities.  

Given that discriminatory social attitudes, beliefs and social norms can negatively affect women and girls’ empowerment, some of the British Council’s work on women and girls also seeks to understand, explore and influence change in attitudes, as well as foster opportunities for influencing social norms in the longer term.

Our Theory of Change

The British Council offers different opportunities for women and girls through a range of programmes in the 110 countries where it works. In order for these interventions to address gender inequality through the empowerment of women and girls, the British Council has been developing a theory of change for its work in this area, defining five ‘outcomes’ to frame the impacts it wants its programmes to achieve in relation to women and girls’ empowerment:

  • Increased awareness and agency

  • Fairer access to resources and opportunities

  • Supportive legal and policy environment

  • Changes in attitudes, beliefs, practices and discriminatory social norms

  • Dialogue, Collaboration and Collective action