Monash research on women’s empowerment and counter-extremism has gained UN attention, in an impactful statement delivered to the United Nations Security Council on 14 October, part of the annual debate on Women, Peace and Security.
In the statement, Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, H. E. Gillian Bird, announced four pledges by the Australian Government. The third pledge was to support research by the University’s School of Social Sciences on the project ‘Preventing Conflict and Countering Fundamentalism through Women’s Empowerment and Civil Society Mobilisation’.
Her statement was part of the 15th year celebration of Security Council Resolution 1325, which emphasises the role of women in peace-building, negotiations and conflict prevention and resolution – a major research theme of International Relations academics at Monash.
“This inclusion is the result of a lot of work at Monash since April and over a long period of time to build Monash’s reputation as a centre for Gender, Peace and Security expertise and research,” said Professor Jacqui True, who co-leads the project.
“The inclusion means that this research is extremely timely and will have significant policy impacts as part of the research process itself as well as with the findings. It will assist not only Australia but the UN and international community to integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue across counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism policies.
“In particular, [this research] will contribute evidence on the participation and leadership of women and women’s organisations and their importance in strategies to prevent conflict and counter fundamentalist ideologies.”
Dr Swati Parashar, who also co-leads the project, believes that the Asia-Pacific region will benefit greatly from the research.
“The findings of this project will be critical for the Asia-Pacific region as a whole where women are not only supporting terrorism and extremist ideologies but are also instrumental in countering them in their families and within their communities.”
A copy of the statement is available on the Australian Government’s UN Security Council website.
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