Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Inaugural Mila Mulroney Chair in Women, Policy, and Governance Leadership announced

January 29th, 2021
Dr. Bailey Gerrits

The Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and St. Francis Xavier University are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bailey Gerrits as the inaugural Mila Mulroney Research Chair in Women, Policy, and Governance Leadership.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Bailey Gerrits to the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government,” said Dr. Don Abelson, founding Director of the Institute. “The Mila Mulroney Research Chair is mandated to develop and engage with timely research on the roles of women and issues related to women within policy and governance. The Institute looks forward to welcoming Dr. Gerrits. Her feminist scholarship and expertise will be a great asset as the Institute continues to grow.”

The Mila Mulroney Chair’s research program focuses on advancing knowledge and understanding of issues affecting the roles of women in addressing a broad range of policy and governance priorities. 

“I am honoured to be selected as the inaugural Mila Mulroney Research Chair and to join the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government,”  said Dr. Gerrits. “The position centres women’s leadership in addressing pressing policy and governance issues, something Mrs. Mulroney demonstrated herself in her vast charity work. With this opportunity, I am excited to continue my research agenda aimed at tackling gender-based violence and to start two new projects. One will answer whether Canadian federal anti-violence policies are examples of carceral feminism, that is to say – policies that address gender-based violence but cause harm to racialized, Indigenous, immigrant, and poor communities by focusing on penal solutions. The second will use participatory methods to imagine a future free of gender-based violence. Both, I hope, will contribute to ending gender-based violence.”

Dr. Gerrits has established herself as an expert in gender-based violence and the effect policy could have on leading to its eradication. Her work examines the stories told about gender-based violence and considers how they contribute to ending or facilitating the violence. Her current projects include explaining domestic violence news patterns in Canada, documenting how Canadian police frame gender-based violence on social media, and comparing gendered social media attacks against women in leadership positions during COVID-19 in Canada and the US.

Dr. Gerrits has published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Feminist Media Studies and the International Journal of Communication. She is also an avid volunteer, having volunteered and served on the board of organizations which support survivors of gender-based violence. Dr. Gerrits experience working with survivors motivated her to focus her research on domestic violence, and she is passionate about ending gender-based violence.

In addition to being an outstanding scholar, Dr. Gerrits has volunteered for several organizations which support survivors of gender-based violence. She has served on the board of Kingston Interval House, the central domestic violence centre in the Kingston, Ontario, region. She has also volunteered with Kingston’s Sexual Assault Centre as a crisis-line operator. Her experience working with survivors of domestic violence motivated her to focus her research on this issue. Dr. Gerrits is passionate about ending gender-based violence. Through collaboration with state and community organizations, her research will be invaluable in this critical endeavour.

Dr. Gerrits is currently finishing her position as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Winnipeg in the Department of Criminal Justice. She will formally join the Institute in July 2021.

Start Your Journey