Researchers from Monash University’s Gender, Peace and Security Centre (Monash GPS) and the University of Warwick’s Global Research Priority Programme on International Development participated in a two-day workshop last month at the Monash Prato Centre, Italy. This is the second workshop for the project, ‘The Post-Conflict Care Economy and the Depletion of Women’s Labour’ led by Professor Jacqui True (Director of Monash GPS) and Professor Shirin Rai (University of Warwick). The aim of the project, funded through the Monash Warwick Alliance, is to develop new theoretical and methodological frontiers to explore the connections between unpaid care and peacebuilding work, gender divisions of labour, the lingering effects of conflict and impact of global competition in post-conflict transitions.

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Over the two days, academics and doctoral students from both Monash and Warwick presented and discussed their papers examining how to measure the value of women’s economic contributions in post-conflict contexts, and how this new knowledge can influence the role of national institutions and international financial institutions in light of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, especially: SDG 5 Gender Equality and SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Since the first workshop, which took place in September last year, Monash academics and PhD candidates have collaborated with Warwick colleagues to produce a number of co-authored articles. These were presented at the second workshop on 2-3 June in Prato, Italy.

Framing the themes of the workshop, Prof. Shirin Rai, Prof. Jacqui True and Dr Maria Tanyag discussed moving from depletion to regeneration and overcoming structural and physical violence in post-conflict economies. Dr Eleanor Gordon (Monash GPS) presented and Associate Professor Briony Jones (Warwick) then presented their research on the personal-professional-political nexus of paid work in justice and security sector reform.

The workshop also included a number of case studies analysing the challenges and need for sustainable, inclusive economies in post-conflict contexts. Dr Nicola Pratt and Dr Sara Salem (Warwick) with Yasmin Chilmeran (PhD candidate at Monash GPS) explored the concept of depletion in the Middle East and its application for understanding the impact of conflict on social reproduction and gender divisions of labour in Egypt, Iraq and Palestine. Dr Victoria Pereyra (Warwick) and Dr Samanthi Gunawardana (Monash GPS) examined the gendered provision of care in prisons and free trade zones, sites of both seclusion and exclusion in Argentina and Sri Lanka. Also focusing on Southeast Asia, Dr Juanita Elias (Warwick) and Dr Melissa Johnston (Monash GPS) analysed the impact of conflict, trafficking and migrant labour regimes in the region and, in particular, on poor, ethnic minority women.

One of the key outcomes of the project planned is a special issue of the international high-impact journal, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, consisting of journal articles co-authored by Monash and Warwick researchers. It is hoped that a future Monash-Warwick collaborative project with UN Women on the interlinkages between SDG 5 on gender equality and the other 16 goals will be developed. You can stay up to date with the latest outcomes of the project by signing up to the Monash GPS newsletter here and the Monash Warwick Alliance here.