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Since March 2000, in partnership with the Women’s Centre of Montreal and other units at Montreal universities, McGill’s Centre for Developing-Area Studies has carried out an action-research programme on gender and human security issues in the context of war and reconstruction. Our interdisciplinary team of researchers and activists has been working locally with women refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants from various countries experiencing armed conflict, and internationally with women’s organisations primarily in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Combining human security – the protection of civilians across borders – and gender – the different ways in which women and men are affected — allows us to analyse the impact of gender inequality on the continued insecurity in war-torn societies. Our action-research in a community – university alliance addresses the personal needs (especially untreated trauma) and rights of women while also examining the socio-economic and political context of violent conflicts.

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