The rise of Gender as subject and object of research in recent years is significant. Gender equality and women's rights have become central to our concept of social justice. Their significance for development, however, extends beyond the concern for social justice to the organisation of political resistance, solidarity, and civil society. Research in Gender and women has provided new critical frameworks on the very concept of development as well as new intellectual movements calling for the revision of development policy, identifying the how agents of development are so often compromised by patriarchal power, their postcolonial condition and the continued hegemony of the West. In this special issue, six distinct papers tackle a diversity of subjects, from people trafficking to craft markets to children and early marriage — and they all make reference to the centrality of recognition, protection and justice made possible only through a deomcratically determined law and legal system.