Several academics from Middlesex University, including Professor Eleonore Kofman, Professor Brad Blitz, Dr Janroj Keles and Dr Neelam Raina, will be involved in a major research project coordinated by the London School of Economics that focuses on gender and human rights.
This interdisciplinary project is the largest in the social sciences, creative industries and humanities ever awarded to Middlesex University and is being funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenge Research Fund. It is a £15.2 million project over 5 years bringing together 44 partners in 17 countries and beginning in February 2019.
The Project, GCRF HUB – Gender, Justice and Security, aims to deliver innovative interdisciplinary research on the challenge of achieving gender justice and inclusive security in conflict-affected societies. The Hub addresses the overlapping of three major policy areas linked with Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality; peace, inclusivity and justice and the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The UK is a global leader on these issues, particularly gender equality, which is at the heart of UK Aid Strategy as well as a national security priority. Yet in each of these areas, progress has been frustratingly slow, and in some cases has stalled altogether.
“We are very pleased to be using our considerable expertise in migration, social transformation and conflict to contribute to a significant and impressive intervention in research on gender insecurity and building capacity among academics, NGOs and policy makers locally and globally.”
Professor Eleonore Kofman, Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship and co-Director of the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University
The Hub will develop an evidence base on the intersections of gender, justice and security; expand research capacity in collaboration with international partners and make use of unrivalled links with leading ambassadors for gender justice (Hub Champions) to translate research into impact for the achievement of sustainable peace. Promoting the conditions for gender justice and inclusive security requires a broad vision, ability to unite disparate specialisms, develop capacity across the sites where the development challenge is most intense and provide independent scrutiny of policy initiatives.
The challenge the Hub confronts is global, but appears in different ways across contexts. To generate detailed knowledge from which to draw scalable conclusions and recommendations, the Hub will focus on eight core cases: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Uganda. While each is distinctive in its experiences and timelines of conflict, the cases are broadly geographically representative and are all significantly conflict-affected.
The Hub's activities will be geared towards achieving five forms of impact (including policy and institutional reform and capacity building), in partnership with global south researchers and civil society, to the benefit of those currently facing gender insecurity and injustice.
A diverse team of researchers, widely regarded as experts in gender studies, development, and justice will lead the research. The Hub will pursue its key questions through four projects and two cross-cutting work streams. Middlesex University is co-directing the project on Migration & Displacement and is heavily involved in Transformation & Empowerment, working with a wide range of academic and NGOs partners in the Middle East and South Asia.