The London School of Economics and Political Science has been awarded funding to establish a Gender, Justice and Security Hub, with Makerere University as one of the Lead Research Partner Institutions. The Acting Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Josephine Ahikire is Co-Director on the programme and will serve as a member of the Executive Group that will oversee the Hub’s research agenda, strategy impact and engagement plans.
The Hub is a five-year project funded by the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund and will commence work on 13th February 2019. It is a unique coalition of major UK and DAC-list country research institutions, working extensively with local and global civil society, practitioners, governments and international organizations to advance gender, justice and inclusive peace. It is led by Prof. Christine Chinkin from the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at London School of Economics and Political Science, working with partners around the world and focusing on eight core sites: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Uganda.
The Hub will deliver innovative interdisciplinary research on and impact towards achieving gender, justice and inclusive security in conflict-affected societies. In doing so, the Hub will address the overlap of the three major policy fields: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG5) on gender equality, SDG16 on peace, justice and strong institutions and the implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Each of these tackles a major barrier to human development and security.
The Hub is composed of four thematic projects namely: Transformation and Empowerment; Livelihood, Land and Rights; Migration and Displacement; as well as Masculinities and Sexualities. These address research questions central to the challenges and are supported by two further cross-cutting projects that investigate policy and methodology as they apply to gender justice and inclusive security. Dr Ahikire is the Co-Director of the Livelihood, Land and Rights project.
By bringing UK and developing country researchers from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives together in an ambitious collaborative research programme, the Hub will interrogate the intersections of some of the most pressing contemporary injustices and insecurities, launching new research agendas that will inform, assess and improve strategies to deliver meaningful development impact.
The Hub research will pioneer new research agendas on gender and socio-economic rights in postconflict contexts; gender-responsive peace-building; material culture and peacemaking; land reform and transitional justice; gender and post-conflict reintegration; transitional masculinities; sexuality in conflict and post-conflict settings; the funding of transitional justice and the WPS agenda; and the interface of human rights obligations with Security Council resolutions.
Commenting on the programme, Dr Ahikire said; “It gives me great pleasure to know that I will make a contribution to the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub. This platform will enable me to bring narratives and perspectives from Uganda to be part of this global conversation on gender equality, justice and security. ”
As part of the preparatory activities for the Programme, the Executive Group of the Hub held planning meetings with various stakeholders in Kampala between 25th-27th January 2019. In one of their engagements, the Group met staff from the school of Women and Gender Studies on 25th January 2019 to enlighten them on the programme. The discussion focused on the thematic projects of the Hub highlighted above. The Group also paid a courtesy call on the Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr. Eria Hisali to brief him on the programme.