The UWI intensifies research and activism to tackle gender issues in the Caribbean

by May 21, 2024

A multidisciplinary team of academics, students, and external partners led by the School for Graduate Studies and Research at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has been created to focus on deepened research, public education, and activism to address gender challenges in the Caribbean.

According to Dr Natasha Mortley, Research Fellow at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), Regional Coordinating Office, who leads The UWI’s newest research cluster, its formation is a demonstration of the University’s understanding of the significance of gender and gender issues not only for our university community but also for our society, research, and discourses that support gender equity and gender justice in our region. “The cluster offers a dedicated space for researching the intricate relationships between gender and other social, cultural, and political issues. While producing new understandings of gender dynamics, guiding the formulation of social policy, and advancing inclusivity and gender equity in our communities. The goal of this cluster is to collaborate to synthesise gender research from throughout the region, identify the most important gender-related issues, and establish an agenda to direct the gender cluster’s future activity,” she said.

Speaking at a launch event held on April 16, Professor Marcia Roye, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Science and Technology at The UWI Mona Campus, noted that conversations around gender are becoming so ingrained in our daily lives, that a large number of the rights we now enjoy are the result of our collective efforts to fight for them. She emphasised the value of collaboration among international researchers in discussing shared problems and exchanging solutions for gender-based challenges.
Professor Dianna Fox, University Director of the IGDS, noted that this new focused gender research cluster would be a tool for ongoing education across The UWI’s campuses and, more broadly, focus deeply across society, supporting the operationalisation and diversification of gender policies within the region. She also signalled that a revision of The UWI’s Gender Policy is underway, as well as the University’s mainstreaming of gender as a research framework, to address issues like climate, sexualities, and women’s and girls’ rights to education, saying that the data gathering and research done in this newly launched cluster will be the first steps towards modifications and advancements.