Talk4Peace project explores Transformative Mediation and Inclusive Peacebuilding

Talk4Peace is a new project funded by the North-South Research Programme, jointly led by Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana, from Queen’s University Belfast and co-director of the Centre for Gender in Politics, and Dr Heidi Riley, from the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin.

This project seeks to further our understanding of transformative mediation as a mechanism for peacebuilding and inclusive dialogue in the island of Ireland, tackling a topic that has received insufficient attention in academic research and policy. 

It explores transformative mediation’s potential to open alternative practices of conflict mediation and peacebuilding that centre recognition, agency and knowledges of a wide range of communities in contexts shaped by armed conflict. 

To achieve these goals, the project explicitly examines how a gender and intersectional lens can be better incorporated into practices of peace mediation as a way to challenge the continuing lack of recognition of women and other minoritised groups as mediators. In committing to an inclusive research process, involving extensive cross-border dialogue across the island, the project also explores the role of innovative tools used to maximise inclusion and outreach in mediation practices, including arts and cultural practices.

The project builds on extensive engagement and collaboration with mediation practitioners and other relevant civil society organisations involved in peace mediation.  One of the project’s publications will be a toolkit for transformative mediation to be shared widely with practitioners and policymakers nationally and internationally.

The project launch in July brought together  practitioners, academics, artists, and policymakers to explore the transformative potential of alternative forms of conflict mediation centred around a commitment to inclusive and creative practices.  

Speakers included:

Ilaria Tucci -Researcher & Practitioner in Tampere University, expert in the use of community theatre methods as a way to encourage inclusive and participatory dialogue. 

Laura Davis -Mediation practitioner, Gender and peacebuilding expert EPLO Brussels.

Patty Abozaglo -Mediation practitioner and researcher based in Maynooth University, worked extensively in Colombia and other parts of South America

Yaser Alashqar -Mediation practitioner and trainer, based in TCD Dublin with extensive mediation experience and specialist in Israeli/Palestinian context.

Bebhinn McKinlay -Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth Network, Northern Ireland representative 

Second in Queering WPS Policy brief series: Supporting Queer Feminist Mobilizations for Peace and Security

The second policy brief in our Queering Women, Peace and Security Policy Brief series co-authored by Chitra Nagarajan and Jamie J. Hagen focuses on supporting queer feminist mobilization for peace and security.

Those committed to gender justice have spent decades promoting the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, most notably achieving recognition by the Security Council in its Resolution 1325 and subsequent WPS Resolutions. Yet, conversations, analysis, and decision making continue to not fully address the gendered dimensions of violence and operate within heteronormative (the assumption that everyone is heterosexual) and cisnormative (that assumption that everyone identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth, and those who do not are considered “abnormal”) views.

As conflict places those socially excluded – including people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, sex characteristics and gender expressions (SOGIESC) – most at risk and is driven by hetero- and cisnormativity as well as gender inequality, the development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding sectors need to ensure a more equitable peace for all. Beyond inclusive provision of humanitarian aid and recognising the shared root causes of violence, a queering of this agenda invites broader understanding of both peace and security. It recognizes that LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) people experience harm during peacetime and may be targeted to a greater degree following political wins such as the securing of gender rights within a peace deal.

In this policy brief, we centre the experiences of activists working at the intersection of WPS and LGBTQIA human rights and highlight the importance of listening to and reflecting their views, experiences and needs. We presenting the work already being done and the challenges activists face before outlining entry points that exist to better support them.

The policy brief responds to three questions:

  1. What work is already being done?
  2. What challenges do activists face?
  3. What entry points exist to better support activists?

We thank all of those who spoke with us for this research including participants from various UN agencies, INGOs and LGBT human rights organizations who took the time to speak with us for this research. We informed all participants of the findings from the 2022 interviews that shape this report and will continue to co-develop future work the participants as we engage in future efforts for supporting queer feminist mobilizations for peace and security

The research for this policy brief was funded by Outright International as part of the internal report Mapping Entry Points for Queering Peace and Security Responses.

New Policy Brief Series launches with ‘Opportunities for Queering the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda’

Inspired by a prior research collaboration between New York University and the Global Network for Women Peacebuilders highlighting the experiences of young women in official Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) programming, Dennis Aveta focused his master’s thesis on the engagement (or lack thereof) of LGBTQ+ peacebuilders and communities in YPS spaces.

The research project sought to fill the gap in peace and security literature focused on queering such spaces with the hope of illuminating the current state of inclusion of LGBTQ+ peacebuilders as well as the substantive engagement of their priorities and concerns in foundational YPS resolutions and subsequent programming.

Drawing on the experiences and expertise of LGBTQ+ academics, peace and security professionals, as well as queer youth activists, the research begins by outlining some of the most pressing peacebuilding priorities and security concerns of LGBTQ+ youth communities. Moving on, it examines the experiences of queer peacebuilders in Woman, Peace and Security (WPS) spaces before shedding light on the inclusion of young LGBTQ+ peacebuilders in YPS.

Thanks to many of the interviewees having worked in both the WPS and YPS movements, there was a particular opportunity to directly compare the progress that each agenda has made towards substantively embracing LGBTQ+ communities and their issues.

This policy brief serves as a foundational resource for civil society actors to expand their understanding and knowledge regarding the experiences of young LGBTQ+ peacebuilders. Working alongside similar research and data collection efforts currently (and/or recently) taking place focusing on LGBTQ+ communities in the context of peace and security, it also serves to state proudly and loudly that LGBTQ+ peacebuilders exist now, have always existed in these spaces before, and will continue to be a part of and lead struggles for peace moving forward.

Concluding with highlighted areas for action, this brief provides recommendations for how CSOs can take substantive steps towards better supporting LGBTQ+ peacebuilders and creating a truly intersectional movement for peace.

You can find the full policy brief as the first in our Queering Peace and Security Policy Brief Series here.

Mariconeando la agenda de Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad

En la construcción de paz no se han incluido de forma adecuada las necesidades de las mujeres lesbianas, bisexuales, trans y queer. Aunque la sociedad civil ha impulsado la implementación de la agenda de Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad, no siempre se han tenido en cuenta las formas particulares en las que las reglas del género y de la sexualidad han creado o profundizado ciertos riesgos para las mujeres LBTQ, ocasionando que sus necesidades de seguridad no sean vistas ni atendidas.

Ha sido gracias al trabajo en alianza de las organizaciones LGBTIQ+ con organizaciones feministas que progresivamente hemos incluido esta mirada. Sin embargo, a pesar de que hemos encontrado un genuino interés por incluir estas miradas interseccionales, en muchos casos las instituciones y la sociedad civil interesada no saben por dónde empezar ni cómo hacerlo.

Es por esta razón que el proyecto de investigación “Mariconeando 1 la agenda de MPS” —investigación financiada por la Academia Británica liderada por la Dra. Jamie Hagen y la Dra. Anupama Ranawana, junto con Colombia Diversa y Christian Aid Colombia—, busca analizar cómo puede mejorarse la participación de las mujeres LBTQ en los procesos de consolidación de paz y, en concreto, en la construcción de los planes nacionales para la implementación de la agenda de MPS.

En Colombia, este proyecto se adelanta durante un momento político clave: es la primera vez que nuestra tarea no es convencer al gobierno de turno de que las vidas LGBTIQ+ importan y no deben ser estigmatizadas. Con el nuevo gobierno (en particular con la vicepresidenta Francia Márquez, y la viceministra de asuntos multilaterales del ministerio de relaciones exteriores Laura Gil) parece haber una oportunidad de incluir realmente a las mujeres LBTQ en el proceso participativo para la construcción del primer Plan Nacional de Acción para la implementación de la Resolución 1325 en Colombia.

Es el momento, entonces, de avanzar sobre cómo hacerlo:
¿Cómo se ve la seguridad para las mujeres LBTQ?

¿Cómo se ven los riesgos diferenciados que enfrentan las mujeres LBTQ?

¿Cómo se ve la prevención, la protección, la participación, el socorro y la recuperación para las mujeres LBTQ?

¿Cómo se ve un proceso participativo que incluya a las mujeres LBTQ?

¿Cómo incorporar una mirada interseccional de los impactos y necesidades de las mujeres LBTQ?

¿Cómo articular el trabajo avanzado en la agenda MPS de las organizaciones feministas con la agenda específica de las mujeres LBTQ?

¿Cómo articular los avances en la inclusión de las mujeres LBTQ en la agenda de MPS con el trabajo en construcción de paz de los movimientos sociales LGBTIQ+?

Para responder a estos cómos debemos tejer conversaciones de largo aliento entre las organizaciones de la sociedad civil y la institucionalidad. El pasado 12 de octubre nos reunimos con lideresas LBTQ constructoras de paz en distintos territorios del país y lideresas feministas que han trabajado en el impulso de la agenda de Mujeres Paz y Seguridad desde instancias nacionales e internacionales. Este taller fue un espacio enriquecedor en el que desde distintas perspectivas reflexionamos sobre preguntas claves para avanzar en la inclusión de mujeres LBTQ en esta agenda. Entre ellos se destaca la necesidad de cuestionar, consolidar y posicionar el concepto mariconear como adaptación al contexto colombiano del término queering; la pregunta sobre un concepto de seguridad realista pero comprensivo de las vidas LBTQ, y la importancia de reforzar esfuerzos feministas con interseccionalidad desde varias esferas del trabajo que adelanta este movimiento social.

Estas preguntas intentarán responderse en una caja de herramientas que brinde insumos prácticos para los actores relevantes en la materialización de esta inclusión. Esperamos que este proceso sea solo el inicio de una conversación sostenida con la institucionalidad y las organizaciones feministas involucradas en la implementación de esta agenda.

Blog original publicado por Colombia Diversa aquí.

Colombian LBTQ peacebuilders and feminist leaders discuss Queering WPS

Lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer women haven’t been properly included in peacebuilding processes around the world. Although civil society has pushed for the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, it hasn’t always taken into account the particular ways in which gender and sexuality rules have created or deepened certain risks for LBTQ women, causing their security needs to go unseen and unaddressed.

It has been thanks to the alliance work of LGBTIQ+ organizations with feminist organizations that we have progressively included this perspective. However, even though we have found a genuine interest in including these intersectional perspectives, in many cases the institutions and civil society concerned don’t know where to start or how to do it.

That is why the research project “Queering Women, Peace and Security Agenda” -research funded by the British Academy, led by Dr. Jamie Hagen, Dr. Anupama Ranawana, Colombia Diversa and Christian Aid Colombia-, seeks to analyze how the participation of LBTQ women can be improved in peacebuilding processes and, specifically, in the formulation of national action plans for the implementation of the WPS agenda.

In Colombia, this project is taking place during a key political moment: we don’t need to convince the government that LGBTIQ+ lives matter and shouldn’t be stigmatized. With the new government (in particular with Vice President Francia Marquez, and Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Laura Gil) there seems to be an opportunity to truly guarantee the participation of LBTQ women in the construction of the first National Action Plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325 in Colombia.

Now we move on to the whats and hows.
What does security mean for LBTQ women?

What do the specific risks faced by LBTQ women look like?

What does prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery look like for LBTQ women?

How should a participation look like in order to include LBTQ women?

How to incorporate an intersectional approach on the impacts and needs of LBTQ women?

How to articulate the work advanced in the WPS agenda of feminist organizations with the specific agenda of LBTQ women?

How to articulate the advances in the inclusion of LBTQ women in the WPS agenda with the peacebuilding work of LGBTIQ+ social movements?

To answer these whats and hows we must engage in long-term conversations between civil society organizations and institutions. In October 12, we met with local LBTQ peacebuilders and feminist leaders who have been working (nationally and internationally) to promote the Women, Peace and Security agenda. This workshop was an enriching space in which we reflected on these whats and hows together from different perspectives. From this space emerged key aspects to advance the inclusion of LBTQ women in this agenda. The need to question, consolidate and position the concept of mariconear as an adaptation of the term queering to the Colombian context stands out, next to a realistic definition of “security” and the importance to continue doing intersectional work from these social movements.

These questions will attempt to be answered in a toolkit that aims to provide practical inputs for the relevant stakeholders to make LGBTQ women’s inclusion happen. We hope that this workshop has been the beginning of an ongoing conversation with institutions and feminist organizations involved in the implementation of this agenda.

Original blog published by Colombia Diversa here.

International Perspectives on Trans Rights and Policy in the context of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands

As part of 2022 Belfast Pride celebrations the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK, the Centre for Gender in Politics at Queen’s University Belfast and HERe NI hosted the event offering international perspectives on trans rights and policy. The event featured three speakers representing trans politics in unique contexts, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.  The speakers for the event were (from left to right in lead photo):

  •   Max de Blank (they/them) , Policy Officer at the Directorate of Emancipation, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) of the Netherlands
  • Alexa Moore (she/her), Co-founder and former director of TransgenderNI, currently Research and policy at the Human Rights Consortium
  • Matt Kennedy (he/him) who is an Irish Research Council Scholar and doctoral candidate in the area of trans studies in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice a University College Dublin, a writer and a boxer. He is currently employed in Belong To Ireland’s National LGBTQ+ youth organisation as the policy and research officer as well as completing his PhD on transnormativity.

The panel focused on four themes: gender recognition, health care, connecting trans rights with other social justice issues and how allies can help support trans communities facing anti-trans backlash.

To begin, each of the panelists reflected on each of the different legal contexts for gender recognition policies and practices. Max began by detailing how in the Netherlands there has been significant progress over the past decade and the state has even publicly apologized for the suffering experienced by the transgender and intersex community as a consequence of the terms of the former Transgender Act, that up until 2014 required medical procedures including permanent sterilization before allowing a legal gender change to one of two binary gender options. In 2020 the Dutch government agreed to pay compensations to trans victims of sterilization. There is now momentum in the country from both the government and the medical field to improve the support for people transitioning, including a plan to introduce paid leave for trans people during their transition.

The panelists spoke of the harm caused by pathologizing legislation that requires trans patients to undergo lengthy medical approval prior to having access to legal gender recognition. Alexa explained that instead of the current highly medicalized procedure in NI, the trans community are advocating for a process of self-identification. She continued, ‘It’s not up to some cisgender doctor, some panel of gender experts, to adjudicate your gender, it should be up to the trans people. It should be up to the individuals who know themselves people than anyone else.‘

The Republic of Ireland does currently allow this process of self-declaration, however there are still serious shortcomings.  For example, there is still a lack of acknowledgement for intersex and nonbinary folks within current policy, and those who are aged 16 and 17 need parental consent from both parents along with two psychiatric assessments. Young people under 16s do not have access to any form of legal gender recongition under the current legislation in the republic of Ireland. Acknowledging the damaging impact of this legislation Matt asks, ‘Why have we made stipulations around which trans people are allowed to effectively become citizens? Who is left out of this legislation?’  Concluding his reflections on the topic, he argued that although previous equality measures were put to a referendum in the Republic (e.g. repealing the 8th, marriage equality) the same should not be true for policies like gender recognition. ‘It’s not at all appropriate for trans people to grovel for their participation in social, political and economic life.’

Trans healthcare is in a dismal state across the contexts addressed by the panelists. Alexa and Matt shared their own personal experiences in trying to access basic trans health care and remaining on waiting lists for years. The wait list for access to medical support for trans people is currently estimated to be 1-3 years in the Netherlands, at last report, the waiting list was around 4 years in Northern Ireland and up to 10 years in the Republic.

When trans people can afford to, many turn to private care, while others have turned to community care. ‘Now all of my care is from the UK. I travelled abroad for surgery, and all of my hormones are through what’s called Shared Care. I have a GP in Dublin who prescribes my hormones’, Matt explained.  He points to this model as the model those committed to improving trans-affirming care should be supporting, outlining that often transition related healthcare is contained within underresourced gender clinics which are ‘Not a helpful model at all. They serve only to further pathologize trans people and to remove them from all of the other spaces where they access general care.’ Community based models of care better serve trans people as they are localised and more appropriately placed to meet the wraparound health and wellbeing needs of an individual including their transition related needs. 

All the speakers made connections between trans policy and other socio-economic issues. Homelessness is an example of socio-economic issue that research in the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands has already shown disproportionately negatively impacts trans youth who may be kicked out of their homes after coming out to their family as trans.  In the context of NI Alexa points to the real need for a Bill of Rights to help support multiple human rights concerns together. She argues, ‘So many of the rights we’re talking about today healthcare, legal recognition and the right to private family life, right to a home, all of these issues could be covered and we could start to build this rights based society and unique policies within a human rights framework if we had a bill of rights for NI.’  A Bill of Rights for NI was promised as part of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Though there was much emphasis on the need to improve legal protections and policies for trans equality, Max cautioned that focusing on rights alone is not enough: ‘Rights are very important, but having rights does not mean that all discrimination is being solved. That is why the Dutch government also invests in education, for example by supporting Gender & Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) in schools’, they said.

Alongside reflecting on the current policy landscape for trans rights, participants shared their thoughts on how cis people can be allies to the trans community. This was on the mind of many participating in pride events this year. Danielle Roberts who is the Senior Policy and Development officer for  HEReNI, and moderator for the panel, invited those planning to march in the Belfast Pride parade to join the trans inclusionary feminist block.

Matt’s concluding thoughts resonated with the whole room when he pointed to the need for coalitional organizing to achieve the transformation necessary to achieve gender justice for trans communities. ‘I can’t do that myself. I can’t do that just as a trans person. I can’t do it just in trans community. I need everyone along with me.’ Together the panelists made it clear that improving rights and policies for trans people ultimately  benefits trans and cis people alike.

This event was part of the Just Talk(s) event series organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK.

Queering Women, Peace and Security project focuses on Improving Engagement with queer women in peacebuilding

The Queering Women, Peace and Security (WPS) project is a British Academy funded Innovation Fellowship led by Dr. Jamie Hagen from Queen’s University Belfast and co-director of the Centre for Gender in Politics, and Anupama Ranawana from Christian Aid UK, which focuses on improving engagement with lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LBTQ) women in WPS Programming.

 The full research team also includes María Susana Peralta Ramón of Colombia Diversa who will serve as research coordinator on the project, and Nathalie Mercier of Christian Aid Colombia who will serve as research assistant.

The year-long fellowship focuses on the role of including LBTQ women in the development and implementation of Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans and contributes to a larger effort of taking a critical security studies approach to understanding peacebuilding.

 The project comes at an important time with the ongoing development of the UK’s third National Action Plan for implementing Women, Peace and Security and plans for the first Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan in Colombia.

One of the key publications from the project will be a toolkit which will provide training opportunities for Women, Peace and Security practitioners and enable knowledge exchange from LGBTQ organizations in the future to be published in Spring 2023. Workshops in Bogotá with key stakeholders from the LGBTQ community are central to the research project.

The Queering Women, Peace and Security project engages with and supports ongoing work to queer gender, peace and security efforts through collaboration with the leading Colombian LGBTIQ+ organization Colombia Diversa.   The research team will also explore what queer theory and LGBTQ advocacy might offer for improving Women, Peace and Security implementation practices internationally when ensuring a gender perspective in all peace and security efforts.

Upcoming events for Queer@Queens

Queer@Queen’s 2021

This year Queer@Queen’s has organized two events to coincide with the Outburts Queer Arts festival, a New Scholarship in Queer & Gender Studies panel on 17 November and a film screening of United in Anger: A History of Act Up followed by a discussion with Professor Sarah Schulman on 19 November. Find more details about both events below.


New Scholarship in Queer & Gender Studies
17th November 2021
20 University Square/0G/009

A showcase of new and emergent postgraduate research in queer, gender, and feminist studies at QUB, in connection with Outburst Queer Arts Festival (https://outburstarts.com/festival/).

Please note that this is an in-person event that will be held simultaneously on Teams.

To attend this event please book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/199788902987

For a link to the online Teams meeting, please contact Trish McTighe, t.mctighe@qub.ac.uk.

Please ensure that you wear a mask and observe social distancing when attending. More information on QUB Covid safety measures can be found here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-faqs/information-for-students/


Christopher Cavanagh, ‘LGBT In Antiquity: The Galli of the Great Mother’

This talk will discuss the emergence of the cult of Cybele in antiquity and her priests who were infamous at the time for being considered effeminate; they would reportedly self-castrate and wear women’s clothing and makeup. In introducing the cult and priesthood (as well as some literary attestations) I will talk about my research thus far, and how the literary sources shame them continuously, yet oddly, archaeologically speaking we can see some tell-tale signs indicating that they “wore it proudly”, openly displaying their deviance from Greco-Roman sexual norms on their tombstones. Some may even have engaged in domestic partnerships with other men (as indicated by a tombstone of a Gallus named Soterides in Turkey, and another of a Chief Gallus in Rome called Bassus), contrary to laws at the time.

Chris Cavanagh is a third year PhD student at Queens and who works as a teaching assistant and an archaeologist.

Sharon Dempsey, ‘The Body as Text: The Female Outsider in a Crime Fiction Narrative’ 

This talk will be drawn from my PhD research about crime fiction, gender, and class. I will give an overview of female representation and the body in crime fiction and then move on to discuss the creative aspects of my work.

Sharon Dempsey is a Belfast based crime writer. The first in her new crime series, Who Took Eden Mulligan? was published in 2021 by Avon Harper Collins. Her PhD research combines creative writing practice and critical analysis to examine how Northern Irish crime fiction can be used to understand the intersection between gender and class. Her creative work, a crime fiction novel in the domestic noir genre, will provide an exploration of class, privilege and toxic masculinity while also addressing the role of social media in rape cases, and how the victim can be demonized and blamed, forced into the public arena with profound repercussions.  

Elspeth Vischer, ‘Let Us Be Seen: Documenting Grassroots Feminism and Queer Identity in Belfast Today’

How do feminist and queer identities operate in contemporary Belfast? Let Us Be Seen is a documentary film that presents the work and ideas of individuals on the ground in Belfast, who have campaigned tirelessly for change and continue to do so. On 21st October 2019, abortion was decriminalised and same-sex marriage legalised in Northern Ireland. This important law change however has shed light on more nuanced barriers facing people locally. As many collaborators on this project have asserted ‘the fight is far from over’. This paper presents findings, in the form of film clips and discussion, from a creative-practice PhD project that aims to document and analyse grassroots feminism in Belfast through showcasing those working as activists, educators and artists on screen. 

Elspeth Vischer is a filmmaker from Belfast and director of Vish Films Ltd. Elspeth has been working over the past few years directing short films, music videos and writing. Elspeth has volunteered as a member of the LGBT History NI group for 18 months, where she has undertaken research into Women’s News publications and has helped archive and create video content. Elspeth is currently making a feature-length documentary about grassroots feminism as part of a Creative-Practice PhD at Queen’s University, where she also works as a teaching assistant.

Thomas Ward, ‘Queen’s in Love’

In 1990 Queen’s university student union held its first benefit for the Belfast AIDS Helpline. The event was a roaring success, but was a long-time coming. Less than ten years earlier the Lesbian and Gay conference of the National Union of Students in Ireland and the UK, to be held at Queen’s, was called off after a backlash from the Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign and political pressure from the NUS national executive. With this backdrop, this talk explores Queen’s in Love, what happened on the night, the motivations of those who organised it, and the reaction to the event. Its aim is to add to the growing body of work seeking to counter long-held narratives that AIDS ‘didn’t happen’ in Belfast or to people from, or who had moved to, the city

Thomas Ward is a PhD student in history at Queen’s; his work focuses on the state and the counterhegemonic queer forms of co-optation and resistance to the heteronormative, nuclear-familial politics of the state in housing and healthcare provision in the late twentieth-century. He is also an activist in the tenant union CATU.

Mohaddeseh Ziyachi, ‘Motherhood in Iran’

This talk, drawn from my thesis, will examine the conception of motherhood in Iran. Its primary purpose is to show the problematic status of motherhood in current Iranian society—in particular, among middle-class Iranian women. My research demonstrates that middle-class Iranian women find childbearing and childrearing a controversial subject for thought, which is also reflected in academic studies, public discourses, and individual conversations about motherhood. Mohaddeseh Ziyachi is a PhD student in Cognition and Culture at the school of HAPP. In their PhD thesis, they study motherhood with a focus on Iranian society (their home country). Their research also includes cross-cultural comparison


November 19th, 2021

Prof Sarah Schulman in conversation with Dr Jamie Hagen (QUB)

& a screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP

Screening of United in Anger: 11am (venue TBC)

In-conversation: 1pm, McMordie Room, Music Building

Q@Q in association with Outburst Queer Arts and AEL Athena-SWAN is delighted to welcome one of the most influential queer writers, thinkers, and activists of her generation back to Belfast.

Sarah Schulman is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. She is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer and AIDS historian. From cult classic 1980’s novels Girls, Visions and Everything and After Delores to hugely impactful recent non-fiction titles such as The Gentrification of The Mind and Conflict is Not Abuse, her writing has been synonymous with speaking truth to power and giving voice to queer experience for four decades. A co-founder of Lesbian Avengers and MIX Film Festival, she has been prolific not only in her writing but also in wider LGBT activism and culture. Her 20th book, Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP, New York 1987-1993 was published by FSG in Spring 2021. It has been described as “a tactician’s bible” and the ultimate activist handbook for making change happen together.

The session will be preceded by a screening of the 2012 documentary United in Anger directed by Jim Hubbard and produced by Sarah Schulman.

Book for the screening: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/199964929487

Book for the lecture: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/queerqueens-lecture-sarah-schulman-tickets-199975671617

Please ensure that you wear a mask and observe social distancing when attending. More information on QUB Covid safety measures can be found here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-faqs/information-for-students/

New CGP policy brief highlights how and when to research LGBTQ people in conflict

In June of this year Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, developed a report on the Gender Theory. The UN Gender Theory report was delivered to the Human Rights Council at its 47th session.

Included in the report is input offered from over 500 individuals and groups including a letter from the Centre for Gender in Politics. The central recommendations offered to inform this Gender Theory report are now available to read as a Centre for Gender in Politics policy brief including key recommendations.

The recommendations draw on Jamie J. Hagen’s research on Queering the Women, Peace and Security agenda focusing on LGBTQ organizing and responding to queer experiences in conflict-related environments. The key themes addressed in the policy brief including the challenges for confronting the patriarchal, homo-,lesbo and transphobic violence of ‘gender ideology’. A central component of the recommendations including the need to learn with and from LTGBT people living in conflict-related environments.

As more researchers recognize the need to include attention to sexual orientation and gender identity in research in conflict-related environments, the following recommendations can do so in a way that centers LGBTQ people in the process. Read the recommendations as an excerpt below and the full ‘Minimizing protection gaps for LGBTQ people living in conflict’ policy brief here.

Where and how to collect data on SOGI in conflict-related environments

Some ways researchers, policy makers and actors can address the lack of data about SOGI when doing gender work in conflict-related environments include:

Photo by Mohammad Danish on Pexels.com
  1. Work with local LGBTQ organizations and actors in developing and implementing gender research while doing ethical research in fragile and violent conflicts. This will require being creative and responsive to the needs of the communities you are working with about funding, research methodology, timelines and publication. Challenges may include finding responsive ways to include people who may not be able to physically attend interviews or workshops as well finding ways to work with those who are doing this work without the official label of ‘LGBTQ organization’ given political, social and funding constraints.
  2. Ask questions to participants/survivors/organizers about sexual orientation and gender identity in data collection. A 2020 report from the Williams Institute offers best-practices advice.
  3. Be intentional and inclusive of LGBTQ individuals so these communities are more comfortable raising sexuality as an important dimension of research about gender in conflict-related environments.
  4. Be explicit about defining gender in a way that also includes attention to sexual orientation and gender identity. Alongside this, be intentional (in writing, in reporting data, in media about the research, in speaking with participants) about being inclusive of those who do not fit into LGBT categories including non-binary and genderqueer individuals.
  5. Translate and support in-country research related to sexual orientation and gender identity led by local civil-society organizations. Even though much of this research is still excluded from many academic and policy spaces, there is extensive in-country and transnational feminist research to consider gender and sexuality in an intersection way beyond limited binary approaches to research.

Feminist Activism and the Politics of Crisis: Why gender sensitive analysis and policymaking must be a priority

Read findings emerging from the latest research conducted by the Centre’s co-directors, Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana and Dr Jamie Hagen, with Danielle Roberts, doctoral candidate at Ulster University and policy officer at Here NI.

Our research project sought to investigate the impact of the crisis engendered by the Covid-19 pandemic on feminist activism and gender equality more broadly. 

Drawing on the experiences and knowledge of feminist and LGBTQ+ activists in Northern Ireland through focus groups, we detail the exacerbation of inequalities and ongoing challenges to the realisation of meaningful rights, inclusion and gender justice. 

We also trace the strategies developed by organisers to sustain collective activism in the complex political and economic environment in Northern Ireland. 

We join feminist and LGBTQ+ activists in Northern Ireland and globally in demanding that gender-sensitive analysis and policymaking must be a priority as we plan for recovery, rebuilding, and transformation post-Covid and beyond.

Read our policy brief below: