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COVID-19 represents a massive global health, economic and political challenge. It is undoubtedly a gendered challenge too: women are the majority of healthcare workers internationally, take on more caregiving responsibilities, and are disproportionately represented in informal and precarious work. In displacement sites, women and girls face distinct risks due to protection gaps in sexual and gender-based violence and pre-existing weak health infrastructures. In Asia and the Pacific, the COVID-19 crisis is intersecting with multiple other crises – including climate change, masculinised governance, and other security threats – in unprecedented ways.
To investigate and understand further how COVID-19 will shape the gender, peace and security landscape in Asia and the Pacific, two Bell School scholars, Dr. Kerryn Baker, from the Department of Pacific Affairs, and Dr. Maria Tanyag, from the Department of International Relations, have been awarded a 2020 ANU Gender Institute grant to develop a 5-part podcast series.
The series will use podcast methodology to generate new research through interviews with women academics and practitioners in the Philippines, Fiji, Cambodia, Vanuatu and Indonesia. It will gather stories and narratives from the region as a preliminary or snapshot account of the pandemic at its onset. Subsequently, as part of an envisioned longitudinal analysis, further batches of interviews will be conducted and produced in serial form to the podcast to monitor how the COVID-19 crisis evolves, intersects with, and reshapes other security issues in the region.
This new research initiative was developed after Dr. Baker and Dr. Tanyag ran an online seminar in May 2020, attended by over 100 people, with invited speakers Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, chairperson of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC); Betty Barkha, a scholar on gender, peace and security from Fiji; and Carla Silbert, Governance Peace and Security Specialist for UN Women Regional Office in Asia and the Pacific, and Officer-in-Charge of UN Women Philippines.
Dr. Baker and Dr. Tanyag will co-host the podcast series in partnership with the Crawford School’s Policy Forum Podcast, for broadcast in early 2021.