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Call for special collection submissions: What future for Gender Equality?

The guest editors for this special collection are Professor Sue Scott, University of Newcastle and University of Helsinki and Dr Prerna Banati, Scientist, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Abstract submission deadline: 1 April 2024 

Since the feminist agenda setting in the 1970s and the development of a global movement for women’s rights, there has been some progress in moving towards greater equality: lengthening of life expectancy, narrowing of the wage gap and greater recognition of the abuse suffered by women and girls. This progress has seen shifts at both the macro level and in the context of women’s everyday lives. 

However, while it is important to celebrate these hard won, if limited, successes, we are currently at an important moment globally - inequities have worsened as a result of COVID19, climate change is accelerating, and we are faced with violent conflicts, humanitarian crises and economic challenges. The burden of financial, political and humanitarian crises often falls hardest on women, and this has been intensified by the proliferation of political ideas, policies and practices based on nationalism and populism, racism and misogyny. At the same time, the world grapples with competing ideologies, where truth claims eschew debate and argument and cleave to individualist ideologies. What has come to be called the era of ‘post truth’ has relevance beyond academic debate, having implications for how we think about, and work towards, gender equality and gender justice globally and interpersonally for all women.

In order to move towards a gender-equitable future, commitment and bold action are needed to accelerate progress, including through the promotion of changes in the law, policy, budgets and institutions as well as in everyday actions and practices including the transformation of negative aspects of masculinities and male behaviors. Progress must include the empowerment and meaningful participation of all women and girls, interventions informed by intersectional thinking and ultimately the social and cultural change long called for by feminists. How do we make the case that a better world for all women would be a better world all?

Young people are often at the forefront of these social challenges at a point in their lives when their gendered and sexual identities are emerging as they are developing a sense of themselves as social actors. They are seen simultaneously as a threat to the status quo and as potential change agents. How will changing understandings, practices and policies in relation to gender affect them as they move into adulthood?

This special collection invites research-based articles, as well as shorter interventions to provoke, debate or outline policy and practice, exploring the contemporary challenges besetting global progress towards a more equal world for everyone - whatever their gendered definition of themselves. We seek well-constructed critique, but also, and importantly, agenda setting new ideas that engage with the interrelations between gender and other global social challenges at all levels. We are particularly keen to encourage genuinely inter and trans-disciplinary collaborations.

Some questions to provoke interest:

  • In what ways can scholarship fundamentally challenge us to revisit the pathway to gender equality in the contemporary moment?
  • How do we tackle a multiplicity of claims around gender itself and its intersections with sexuality, age, disability, identity, race, caste and class and claims about gender itself?
  • How can progress be made on transforming the harmful beliefs and practices facing the current generation of young people in relation to, for example, gender-based violence, early and forced marriage, unpaid care work, lack of reproductive rights and female genital mutilation? 

Global Social Challenges Journal is particularly suited to hosting this special collection for the following reasons:

  • Its framing allows for diverse perspectives and approaches, theoretical, conceptual, empirical and methodological. We are especially interested in holistic and systemic approaches that address global challenges. Comparative contributions and both single and multi-authored submissions, including by inter- or transdisciplinary teams of co-authors from academia and other communities of practice are welcome.
  • As well as standard research articles, GSCJ encourages a range of non-traditional interventions, including ones regarding policy and practice, as well as provocations and debates. 
  • Intending contributors should consider which of the four categories of content (as listed in our Author Instructions) best suits their material and frame it accordingly. We do, however, reserve the right to suggest adaptation to a different category from that indicated at the time of submission if this would be more appropriate. 

Information for contributors

If you would like to be included in this special collection, please email a title, abstract (150-300 words) and details of the proposed authors to Sarah Bird, Managing Editor, at by 1 April 2024. Please see our for authors page for guidance on preparing your abstract. 

If you would like to discuss a potential submission, please contact the special collection editors Sue Scott ( and Prerna Banati (

We have extended the waiver on Article Processing Charges (APCs) on all submissions until the end of 2024, although we welcome voluntary contributions from those with funder support for Gold open access publishing. Learn more here


Submission of abstracts to editors: 1 April 2024 
Invitation to submit: 1 May 2024 
Submission of draft papers: 1 October 2024 
Reviews back to authors: 15 December 2024 
Submission of final papers: 15 February 2025 
Estimated publication: End March 2025


Interventions are our shorter (3500 word) publication format. They offer accessible, lively and timely interjections on a particular global social challenge, and are designed to give our readers a more textured sense of the events, impacts and debates that inspire, shape and sometimes challenge the core research contributions of the journal. Interventions fall into three categories:

Policy and practice

Policy and practice papers explore the processes of knowledge exchange, co-production and impact that widen the research community and/or adapt research to the needs of particular groups or stakeholders. Contributing to the journal’s commitment to foster dialogue between academics, policy makers, thought-leaders, NGOs, practitioners and the public, these interventions will develop understanding of how research can be set to meet one or more global social challenges. Some will follow the making of specific policy briefings, tracing processes of design and dissemination, where others will document journeys of co-production or participatory learning. We encourage a full spectrum of methodological underpinnings, from impact evaluation to co-production and other participatory approaches. For this category only, internal review may be supplemented by input from an external individual with relevant policy knowledge or experience.

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A provocation is a genre of writing that stimulates or incites new ways of thinking and acting, sketches a new trajectory or links different fields of enquiry, provides a springboard for ongoing discussion of pressing issues and articulates the global reach of its central problem or question, even when highlighting a particular geographical example.

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Debates address contemporary matters of concern, strategies for change or forms of organisation that respond to global social challenges, where there is an element of debate and disagreement around contentious issues. The intervention is unlikely to pose a resolution, but rather lays out the lines of contention so as to invite further reflection and response. Opposing views on an important new book might constitute one possible focus, or issue-focused debates written either as one voice with multiple perspectives, or as a dialogue, or two separate mutually responsive sections. We also welcome debate contributions that respond to arguments in papers we have published, and in turn invite other responses. 

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