Collective for Gender+ in Research

The Collective for Gender+ in Research works to promote a community for rich dialogue in which gender and other identity intersections, including race, class, sexuality and ability, are considered when conducting community-engaged research.

The Collective focuses on capacity building and providing the tools researchers need to utilize a gender+ lens.

Who are we?

The Collective for Gender+ in Research is based out of UBC Arts’ ORICE (Office for Regional and International Community Engagement), with leadership from Helina Jolly (PhD Candidate, IRES) and Tamara Baldwin (Director, ORICE). The collective emerged out of conversations and meet-ups within UBC’s Women Deliver 2019 mobilizations, and builds on networks and connections from that initiative. Students from all faculties and disciplines are welcome.

Status of Women Canada refers to Gender Based Analysis Plus as : “GBA+ is an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ also considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.”

María Bustelo describes gender+ as : “The term “gender +” is used to include an intersectionality perspective, that is, a recognition that gender is intersected by other inequalities, such as ethnicity, class, age, disability, and sexual orientation.” (Bustelo, 2016)

We expand on this policy and research analysis tool, drawing on these definitions to ask intersectional,[1] gender-sensitive research process questions such as :

  • Are research questions formulated to be gender+-sensitive?
  • Are methodologies sensitive to gender+ factors?
  • Is data collection sensitive to the gender+ identities of participants?
  • Are gender+ factors considered while analyzing data?
  • How can gender+ factors be considered in the ways data is reported and distributed?

[1] We acknowledge, in particular, the contributions of Black Feminists such as Kimberlé Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins towards a theory of intersectionality as an analytical tool.

Gender+ Research Engagementships

Through what we call “engagementships,” our collective seeks to interrogate the motivations for research, and focus on community engagement as a research tool. Each engagementship is separated into cohorts where they will be asked to investigate data justice and community-based research principles and practices.

Gender fragments but also creates community, and is performed, resisted and reproduced in social relations. Research in community always encounters gender. Our collective seeks to develop a network that works to articulate methods and tools to consider these gendered dynamics inherent to working and researching in community. These considerations bring together theoretical and practical considerations towards gathering knowledge that promotes gender justice.

Cohort #1: In July 2020, the Collective launched a research engagementship opportunity to bring together a team of students who will investigate the ways in which citizen science can be used by and for communities to collect data for their own benefit. This engagementship will result in a presentation, research brief, and a resource guide for community organizations to utilize as they consider employing citizen science in their work.

Cohort #2: In September 2020, the Collective proceeded with recruiting for the second cohort of our research engagementship opportunity focused on data justice, citizen science and community-based research.

Cohort #3: In January 2021, the engagementship cohort began their work advancing a community guide for organizations to utilize in embedding principles of data justice in community-engaged research.

Cohort #4: We are currently recruiting for the fourth cohort of this engagementship where students in this cohort will push this community guide forward into a tangible, well-designed guide, developed using relevant knowledge translation and user-centered design frameworks. We are looking for the creatives and knowledge translators out there: to come up with interesting examples that community organizations might engage with as they use this guide; to visualize what the guide might look like; to design the guide; to user test it with community organizations; and to re-design where necessary.

How do we facilitate a research culture in which gender and other intersections (+) are part of the research process from its beginning?

What are the tools necessary to facilitate the integration of gender+ into our research questions and throughout the research process?

What are some of the barriers for graduate students and research faculty in seeking to undertake research with gender+ considerations in mind?

Our Collective’s Guiding Principles

  1. Fostering dialogue towards a culture that (re)frames research questions through gender+
  2. Creating an environment and network to support researchers in our community to bring gender+ into their research from the beginning research question-generation stages, “gendering” research throughout; gender mainstreaming
  3. Developing a framework and resources to support gender+ lensing
  4. Promoting the integration of intersectionality as an analytical framework into gender research, highlighting how gender is entangled with race, class, Indigeneity, ability, nationality and other relations.

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