The International Center for Research on Women stands with our staff, our community, with people everywhere seeking to transform the underlying systemic inequities that perpetuate the dehumanizing violence that manifested last week in the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
Injustice – whether targeting people on the basis of their race, gender, class, religion, age, orientation, ability, origin – will persist as long as we do not act to disrupt it. As a people, we must disassemble the structures that fuel and sustain inequity and together build a solid foundation for social justice, equity and a new direction.
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tamir Rice. Ahmaud Arbery. Trayvon Martin. We have witnessed crimes against Black people and communities of color over and over. These are crimes against humanity – stark and painful indicators of the injustice and racism that have existed in this country for centuries.
For those of us in the majority, we must recognize that we have to examine our own privilege and work to dismantle the long-standing social inequities that have maintained our position of power in this society. We must all stand up when we see others pushed down and rise up together with purpose.
We at ICRW stand in solidarity with the Black community. We will use our research and advocacy platform to interrogate injustice, drive evidence-informed solutions and collaborate with our partners near and far to create a better world.
In 2015, ICRW created the Paula Kantor Award, in memory of our former colleague Dr. Paula Kantor, who died in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan in May 2015. Dr. Kantor was senior scientist of gender and development at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and former senior rural development specialist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).
Dr. Kantor was a leading expert on gender issues in international development, with nearly 20 years of experience in policy and program research related to integrating gender into agriculture and rural development. Dr. Kantor’s work was largely driven by her passion to improve lives in the global south, especially those of women and girls. She was a prolific researcher who worked in several initiatives to improve the lives of women in conflict-prone and terrorist-affected areas. She worked across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
In the spirit of Paula’s legacy of supporting applied research to advance the economic and social well-being of women in low-income and otherwise marginalized communities worldwide, this annual award is given to a young professional female researcher doing field research related to ICRW’s mission, along with a US$2,500 cash prize.
Dr. Mavuso is Research Associate for the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction research program at Rhodes University, South Africa, where she obtained her PhD in Psychology. She is also a member of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition. A feminist, her activism centers on sexual and reproductive freedom and justice, and she encompasses her research and teaching interests in gender, race, sexualities and reproduction.READ MORE
Dr. Otibho Obianwu is one of two winners of the 2019 Paula Kantor Award. Otibho is a Program Manager at the Population Council, Nigeria, where she designs and conducts research studies on female genital mutilation/cutting
(FGM/C) and serves as the Nigeria focal point for the Evidence to End FGM/C programme consortium. She also has experience implementing HIV prevention programs targeted at men who have sex with men and persons who use drugs in Nigeria.
Dr. Jocelyn Kelly is one of two winners of the 2019 Paula Kantor Award. Jocelyn is the Director for Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Women in War program, where she designs and implements projects to examine issues relating to gender, peace and security in fragile states. Her work focuses on understanding and preventing gender-based violence (GBV) and human trafficking in complex crises, with an emphasis on specially examining mechanisms for social cohesion and resilience.Read More
Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga won the 2017 Paula Kantor Award. Violeta shares Paula’s dedication to gender equality and to promoting women’s health and rights. She is a prolific activist who has already made numerous outstanding achievements, is a powerful advocate for ending gender-based violence and a recognized global leader in the HIV movement.READ MORE
Eunice Muthengi was the 2016 award winner. Muthengi is a researcher with the Population Council in Kenya, leading investigations into effective strategies to improve the reproductive health, education and economic potential of adolescent girls.Read more
Soumya Gupta was the inaugural Paula Kantor Award winner. On January 20th, ICRW awarded Soumya Gupta with the inaugural Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research, which honors the work of an up-and-coming research focused on alleviating gender inequality. Gupta’s work focuses on the linkages between agriculture systems and women’s empowerment and in turn, how these affect nutritional outcomes.Read an interview with Soumya