Anouka van Eerdewijk


Anouka van Eerdewijk is a passionate gender equality and social justice advisor. Anouka enjoys connecting people and ideas to stimulate fresh thinking and practice. Over the past 20 years she has combined research, activism, and advisory work in international development— with an explicit focus on women’s empowerment, rights, and leadership.

By supporting people and organisations to consider gender equality and women’s rights in intentional and meaningful ways, Anouka helps foster independent thinking and critical reflection across many subjects and sectors. She uses her strong analytical mind and sound methodological background to bridge the gap between theory, policy and practice. Across subjects she is known for her applied research and problem solving approaches with issues including:

  • women’s rights, empowerment and leadership
  • gender mainstreaming and transformative change
  • civil society, social movements and norm-diffusion processes
  • sexual and reproductive health rights, gender-based violence and sexuality
  • gender analysis in agriculture

Anouka brings an energizing feminist engagement to her advisory work, and enjoys making concepts, knowledge and ideas on gender equality and social justice understandable and accessible to diverse audiences. As a qualitative researcher that enjoys working in mixed-method and interdisciplinary teams, she has done most of her work in sub-Saharan Africa, and also worked in Bangladesh and India.


  • Publication of the State of African Women report for the Right By Her campaign.
  • Development of the White Paper on conceptualizing empowerment of women and girls, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Affiliated Researcher at Institute for Management Research (IMR), Radboud University Nijmegen.
  • Developed and published a number of applied knowledge papers, reports and briefs (on e.g. female leadership, women’s activism, gender mainstreaming)
  • (co-)author of range of academic publications on gender, sexuality, transformative change, gender norm diffusion, and gender mainstreaming.
  • PhD thesis The ABC of Unsafe Sex: Gendered sexualities of unmarried people in Dakar (Senegal), Radboud University Nijmegen 2007.
  • Was a youth representative to the five-year review of the International Conference on Population and Development (1999)