Today the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) announced the winner of the 2016 Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research, Eunice Muthengi of Kenya.
The award was created to honor the legacy of former ICRW colleague Paula Kantor, who was killed while working in Afghanistan in 2015. Dr. Kantor was a leading expert on gender issues in international development, whose work was driven by her passion to improve lives in the global south, especially those of women and girls.
“Eunice’s work truly embodies the spirit of Paula Kantor that we sought to honor with this award,” said Sarah Degnan Kambou, president of ICRW. “We see in her an exacting commitment to research and a deep understanding that this evidence is the base upon which strong policies and programs are built to improve the lives of adolescent girls.”
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. She is currently leading a school-based study to determine whether access to menstrual hygiene products and reproductive health education can improve girls’ schooling and health. Her objectives are always to identify those interventions that will bring positive change to girls, their communities, their future children and the nation as a whole.
“I am humbled and deeply honored by ICRW’s recognition,” said Muthengi. “It is my hope that the award will highlight the central role of adolescent girls in development, and emphasize the importance of investing in research to guide policies and programs.”
Muthengi also recognizes that research must be accessible to a range of audiences, from senior policy makers to community health advocates. She sits on the Ministry of Health Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Technical Working Group, collaborating with other stakeholders to develop indicators, communicate research findings and create strong monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
“Dr. Muthengi’s research delivers results that are scientifically rigorous and policy relevant,” said Julia Bunting, Population Council president. “Her systematic analysis and tireless commitment improve the lives of vulnerable adolescent girls across Kenya and around the world.”
Dr. Muthengi was chosen to receive the award by a committee of distinguished professionals in the development, gender, academic, business, policy, civil society and research sectors from across Sub-Saharan Africa. She will be honored at a reception hosted by the ICRW Africa Regional Office in Kampala, Uganda, on December 8th, 2016.
For more information about the award ceremony, or to schedule an interview, please contact Erin Kelly.