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How did we begin

For a long time, International Relations (IR) was a discipline designed by men and focused on the studies of peace and war. Only in the 1990s, women began to break this barrier and study Gender and International Relations more systematically. In other words, studying Gender is a resistance to what we call “mainstream” (the consolidated knowledge in the field).

This resistance is also part of MaRIas’s DNA. The group was created in May 2017 by post-graduate students from the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo (IRI-USP). We felt the need to learn and debate about Gender and IR, and we could not find subjects nor Professors that addressed the subject at the Institute.

Between 2017 and the beginning of 2020, we focused our efforts on promoting monthly “formation” meetings (study groups), as most of us did not study Gender in our main research. In these meetings, we (and/or our guests) read and debated texts on Gender and IR. In general, these texts were by authors from the Global North, as they were the most consolidated references in the discipline. The meetings took place at IRI or at the IRI library. Unfortunately, despite the publicity of the meetings, only women from the Institute attended.

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Where we are now

The year 2020 was perhaps a turning point for the group. At the beginning of the year, the members thought of a more ambitious organization for MaRIas and our activities that included goal-oriented actions and content creation. However, due to the outbreak of the Covid19 world pandemic, part of the plan had to be modified, requiring a new organization of MaRIas, as well.

 

The change to the virtual modality, despite all its difficulties, ended up been positive and enabling the group to expand our monthly meetings of the study group. Moreover, it allowed the participation of people, even from other cities, and who, otherwise, probably wouldn't be able to go to the university, in São Paulo, for our meetings.

 

The burden that the pandemic created for women was also the object of our concern. Therefore, we started a research line to analyze the impact of the sanitary crisis on post-graduate IR women professors in Brazil. 

In 2020, we already envisioned ​​organizing a MaRIas seminar, but with a smaller scope. However, due to the pandemic, we expanded the seminar, and we did it virtually. Its acceptance and outcomes surpassed all our expectations. The event also produced many fruits regarding the articulation of MaRIa's with other gender groups throughout Brazil, consolidating a network of Gender, sexuality and IR.

 

Thus, this new phase also required an internal restructuring to respond to the new demands. Therefore, we created new action fronts. We are currently organized into five areas:

1) Research

2) Institutional Relations

3) Communications

4) Study Group

5) Prospection

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Where we want to go

Due to the increasing demands, the group also needed to grow. We recently carried out a selection process for nine members, and we are starting 2021 in a new cycle, with many new features and renewed strength. We hope to be able to strengthen the work that already exists in our areas, and, in the future, we will also expand our activities with more research, more events, and, of course, more partnerships.

We hope that MaRIas are able to spread their seeds and increasingly contribute to the fight for gender equality in the Academy, in International Relations, and in society in general.

Check some highlights of our history