Funding award: Research Network on Women, Peace and Security

January 10, 2022

Bringing about meaningful systemic change is complicated, as is addressing pressing global issues that affect us all. Critical to realizing change is engaged research, strategic policy adaptation and collaborative efforts spanning countries and continents, says Dr. Erin Baines, UBC Associate Professor and the Ivan Head South-North Chair at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. 

The Department of National Defence’s Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program awarded a $750,000 grant to create the first Canadian Research Network on Women, Peace and Security (RN-WPS) in April 2021. The network will use the funding over three years to address policy issues of worldwide importance – such as gender and climate change, peacebuilding and addressing systemic inequities in post-conflict settings – through a series of symposia, roundtables, student training, Canada-Global South cooperation, research-practice exchange and teaching exchanges.

Dr. Baines co-leads the Research Network on Women, Peace and Security with Dr. Jennifer Welsh, Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security, and Director of the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies McGill University, and Yolande Bouka, Queen’s University Assistant Professor of International Relations, Gender and Politics. The network is a research hub that is bilingual and international in scope. Its work is to lead a multi-faceted study of the Government of Canada’s Women, Peace and Security agenda. The Research Network has a Youth Advisory Board, which will examine the intersections of gender and age in the newly established Youth, Peace and Security Agenda.

“Since the first resolution of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in 2000, civil society, practitioners, researchers and change-leaders within government and international organizations have collectively demanded and pushed for transformative and systemic change,” says Dr. Baines. “The RN-WPS will learn from and prepare a new generation to better understand, respond and imagine alternative futures to urgent policy issues, such as climate change, the pandemic, and deepening global inequalities and insecurities.”

RN-WPS objectives include:

  • supporting and initiating innovative and multidisciplinary research on Women, Peace and Security in English and French.
  • developing synergies among Canadian researchers across the country, and developing connections to expertise across the world, in order to produce expert, evidence-based analysis on current issues related to the interlinkages between security, defence, gender, race, sexuality and disability.
  • sharing research results and expert analysis with different agencies within Canadian governments, partner organisations and the wider public to inform political decision-making, policy-making and public debate.
  • training the next generation of experts in gender, security and defence by integrating students in knowledge creation and sharing, and through exchange opportunities.

Read more about the Research Network on Women, Peace and Security.

Read more about UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.

Upcoming events
Discussions on National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
Jan. 27, 2022 in Ottawa, ON
Get the details

In anticipation of Canada’s second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security expiration and renewal, RN-WPS is organizing two consecutive discussions on one day to reflect on past and future challenges posed by the plans. The first is a dialogue between scholars and public servants; the second is a teach-in for scholars and civil society. By mobilizing scholars, public servants, and civil society leaders from Canada and other countries, both events will serve to reflect on past NAPs as tools for accountability, innovation and collaboration on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The goal is to document and share these lessons-learned, a necessary process that has not systematically taken place between these three communities.

Annual RN-WPS symposium
March 10 to 11, 2022, virtual
Find more information

The second annual RN-WPS symposium entitled “Revisiting and Reimagining WPS: 20 Years Later” kicks off  “a year of learning” for the network. Over two days, members will gather diverse perspectives to better understand the history of the WPS agenda, as well as chart a course for the future vision. Four UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs students sit on the symposium organizing committee and on the Youth Advisory Board. The network will give students opportunities to learn about the latest research and policy, interact with senior scholars, civil society activists and policy makers, and actively engage in agenda setting for the future of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Research Network on Women, Peace and Security (RN-WPS)

(photo: Research Network on Women, Peace and Security (RN-WPS))


  • Issues of Global Relevance
  • UBC as a Global Actor