Member Spotlight: Victoria Tait

To mark International Women’s Day, we are profiling some of the individual members of our Network and the work that they do. Today:  Victoria Tait

by Clarissa Leir-Taha, MA Candidate (NPSIA) and intern with The WPS Group

Victoria Tait is an accomplished academic in the field of women, peace and security. Victoria completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Queen’s University in Political Science. Despite always having an interest in women’s studies, gender issues and warfare, it was not until reaching a graduate level that she became involved in feminist security studies as a distinct area of research. During her Master’s degree, her supervisor was completing project work on asymmetric engagement in modern warfare, a project to which Victoria saw an opportunity to apply a feminist perspective for her thesis. After beginning interviews with female-identified soldiers, she found the subject fascinating and has stuck with the WPS subject area ever since.

As a current Ph.D. candidate at Carleton University, Victoria’s dissertation encompasses studying how international feminist norms are interpreted and communicated to domestic militaries. On a Canadian level, she is specifically researching how the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 has been understood by various elements of the Canadian security apparatus and how that understanding has been communicated to and responded to by Canadian soldiers. Her research has pointed to the continued exclusion of women from military roles, a limiting factor for women to participate in what is considered an “essential” citizenship activity in many democratic countries.

Upon completing her Ph.D., Victoria says she hopes to stay within the field of women, peace and security, whether within an academic, governmental or private consultation position. She notes that her main goal is to work to help women enter into key decision making positions in the security sector. After spending time researching and working on women, peace and security, Victoria says that work still needs to be done within the field itself in order to reach full potential for meaningful conversation. This includes: growing the relationship between feminist scholars and building a strengthened cross-institutional support network. She is currently working on a collaborative project with Dr. Maya Eichler and Walter Callaghan on the gendered experiences of Canadian veteran transition from military to civilian life. 

Read Victoria’s recent publication:

“Boots on the Ground: Militarized Masculinity From the Soldiers’ Perspectives”

Victoria also has a chapter in a forthcoming book:

Tait, Victoria. “Gender Stereotyping in the Canadian Combat Arms.” Book Chapter, Justin Wright & Felix Fonseca Eds. Making Sense of Diversity in the Profession of Arms. Canadian Defence Academy Press. 20pp. (forthcoming)