Where Are Women in Peacebuilding?

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What Happens Next?

The Handmaid’s Tale. Brave New World. Mad Max. Fictional dystopias have never seemed so close to becoming reality. Is it too late to change our course 
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“This is one of the single biggest and particular attacks on the rights of women, and girls in particular, that we've seen in a long, long time.”

– Natasha Stott Despoja

Last week, our guests told the story of a tense escape from Afghanistan, arranged in the hours after the Taliban took its capital city of Kabul.

For the women and girls left behind, daily life is bleak. Their freedom of movement and right to education have been curtailed by the fundamentalist government with no end in sight.

But by removing all opportunities for women, the new regime has undermined itself. Research shows again and again that women’s involvement in community-building and peace-brokering activities results in tremendous benefits for nation-states.

In countries around the world – even in Australia – women are underrepresented in decision-making processes, unable to bring their strengths and unique viewpoints into the conversation.  What skills do women bring to peacebuilding? And why, in 2022, are they still so marginalised in the halls of power?

Today, on the final episode of season six of ‘What Happens Next?’, Dr Susan Carland is joined by Professor Sharon Pickering, Monash’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education, and Vice-President; and former Australian senator Natasha Stott Despoja AO, the country’s Ambassador for Women and Girls from 2013–16, now an independent expert on the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

A full transcript of this episode is available on Monash Lens.

Thank you for joining us for season six of ‘What Happens Next?’. We’ll be back in a few short months with a new series investigating new challenges. In the meantime, be sure to explore our back catalogue of episodes, such as right-wing extremism, hustle culture, the future of comedy, and psychedelics for mental health.

You can also dig deeper into many of the topics we've covered in this season by visiting Monash Lens at lens.monash.edu.

Do you have a topic you'd like us to examine? Email podcasts@monash.edu with your idea.

You can also leave us feedback by rating and reviewing ‘What Happens Next?’ on your preferred podcast platform. It helps us improve, and it helps listeners like you discover the show.

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A Monash University podcast that examines some of the biggest challenges facing our world and asks t 
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