Newsletter Issue 32, September 2021

Welcome to the September edition of the Monash GPS Newsletter

This past month, we have watched as the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan by force. Members of the Gender, Peace and Security Centre together with students in the Monash International Affairs Society (MIAS) have worked continuously to support our friends and colleagues in Afghanistan, in particular our partner, Afghans for Progressive Thinking - a non-profit youth-led national organisation that works to promote peace and critical thinking among youth and children in Afghanistan. APT are now at the greatest risk for their work and their association to us at Monash GPS because of the series of online policy debates we have engaged in over two years to promote women’s active leadership and youth participation in Afghanistan’s peace process.

On Tuesday August 17, the GPS Centre published an open letter of support for Afghanistan to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging him to act immediately and provide expedited asylum for Afghans whose lives are at grave risk. The letter further highlighted Australia’s responsibility to provide security to Afghan temporary migrants, international students, refugees, and asylum seekers currently in Australia by providing permanent residency and/or refugee status.

We received over 2,000 signatures of support within the first 24 hours and reached 5,000 signatures by Wednesday morning.  We sent the letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison with a total of 5,367 signatures on Wednesday the 18th of August and to date we have received over 6,566 signatures.

Following this, we have engaged in sustained advocacy to ensure the safe asylum of our Afghan young leaders by securing humanitarian visas and emergency evacuation for them. We will have further, hopefully good news to share on this soon.

The amount of support we have received has been immense and we would like to thank all that signed our letter of support. We hope that the federal government will stand up for the international human rights regime and provide safe asylum for the citizens of Afghanistan, including and especially women and girls who face the distinctive impacts of violence and war in that country.

There is “the theory” of feminist international relations and then there is “the practice”….It is the latter, in a devastating conflict situation that we have been engaged in most recently. We believe our efforts have made a difference. They demonstrate as Margaret Mead stated long ago:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Monash GPS and the Monash International Affairs Society has supported the emergency evacuation of 16 APT members and their families, 11 of which will be coming to Monash. We have set up a fund to support these vulnerable students as they resettle into Melbourne and their new homes on campus. You can support them further by donating via the link below.

Please share and support the #ActionforAfghanistan and the urgent appeal at Monash University for Afghan students on temporary visas and the APT evacuees.

Professor Jacqui True

Emerging Practices in Regeneration: Feminist Alternatives to Depletion

Join Monash GPS and Warwick University's WICID First Webinar in a series on Emerging Practices in Regeneration: A Symposium on Feminist Alternatives to Depletion

This webinar will explore the depletion of social reproduction during times of crisis. GPS and WICID have convened key academics and practitioners to unpack the concept and lead participants in a roundtable discussion.

The roundtable will examine the impacts of current crises such as the COVID 19 pandemic, climate change, economic collapse, and conflict on areas of social reproduction.

Professor Shirin Rai, Warwick University, will be our keynote speaker discussing ‘Regeneration as a response to crisis-fuelled depletion’.

The roundtable will raise such questions as

  • What is the way forward in mitigating the gendered harm associated with depletive social reproduction in the context of an ever-present crisis such as climate change or pandemics, or in the aftermath of conflict?
  • What strategies of regeneration are currently practised?
  • What are the feminist alternatives being proposed, experimented with or implemented?
  • What are the windows of opportunity for change and transformation towards regenerative societies that have opened up in this moment as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ensuing economic and social crises, and the ongoing climate crisis?
  • How can issues of social reproduction and social infrastructure be a central part of proposed global and local solutions

Please join us in discussion at 6pm AEST Melbourne time (9am GMT + 1 Warwick time). For more information and to register your interest, please head to our event page.

To contribute a submission, please submit here or email

Towards Global Responsibility: Reflections on Afghanistan

The GPS Centre together with the Monash International Affairs Society (MIAS) hosted a “Towards Global Responsibility: Reflections on Afghanistan” in light of the cancellation of our debate series with Afghans for Progressive Thinking (APT) due to the recent events in Afghanistan. The event discussed the current situation in Afghanistan, its impact on people on the ground, as well as reflected on the debate series’ previous topics within the current context. The event concluded with MIAS President Hamah Hosen providing a list of resources and actions to further support humanitarian efforts relating to Afghanistan.

Watch the recording on our event recording page.

UN Women Project Inception Workshop

In exciting news, Monash GPS hosted the Inception Workshop for our newest project with UN Women on the “Gender Analysis of Violent Extremism and the Impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in ASEAN” in August. This project seeks to examine the degree to which misogyny and hostile beliefs in the ASEAN region are fuelling violent extremism, and how they manifest in the offline space.

Recent Publications


‘As the Taliban returns, 20 years of progress for women looks set to disappear overnight’, by Azadah Raz Mohammed and Jenna Sapiano in The Conversation

‘Fears for Afghan women and their freedoms as the Taliban takes Kabul’, by Jacqui True and Jenna Sapiano in Monash Lens

Taliban spokesman fronts media, China underscores desire for ‘friendly relations’, by Melissa Coade in The Mandarin featuring Jacqui True.

‘The rise, fall and resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan’, by Cait Kelly in The New Daily featuring Jacqui True.


‘Professor: Judge the Taliban by Their Track Record’, Interview with Jacqui True, Bloomberg TV, 17 August 2021.

‘Situation in Afghanistan’, Interview with Jacqui True, 2SM Radio.


Nuri Veronika, “Bad Management, Disinformation and Threats to Freedom of Expression in Indonesia: The Shifting Meaning of “Hate Speech” During The Pandemic”, Pandemic, Fear, and Hate, The International Workshop for Hate Speech in Asia and Europe, Ritsumeikan University, 27 – 28 August, 2021.

Nuri Veronika, “Five Subsets of Radicalised Indonesian Women: Preventing Generalisation of Different Motives and Roles”, 2021/22 GPS Next Generation Symposium, Women in International Security (WIIS), 20 August, 2021.


Betty Barkha, “Eco Warriors: Pacific Women fighting climate change”, Sistas, Let’s Talk, 30 July 2021.

Irine Gayatri, “Doing a PhD during the Pandemic”, Scholars Unbound, 14 July 2021.

Upcoming Events



18 months and counting: Examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender-based violence in Australia, the Indo-Pacific region and the United Kingdom

Date: 8 September 2021

Time: 5:00 – 6:30pm


Emerging Practices in Regeneration: Feminist Alternatives to Depletion

Date: 9 September

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm


Women in International Affairs: Dr Jenna Sapiano

Date: 13 September

Time: 6:00 - 7:00pm