Fellows 2018

Ahed Sebouai (Tunisia)

Female Students’ Sexuality in Tunisia. Realities, Public Discourses and Social Adaptation Strategies

Public discourse about young female sexuality has recently spread to different spheres in Tunisia. TV shows, radio stations and newspapers discuss topics related to Tunisian women’s sexuality, often in a way that is anything but a positive representation of the sexuality of young women. It often takes the shape of blaming and shaming young women for their own sexual assaults or for unwed pregnancies. Women who demand their sexual rights and autonomy are shunned. It is no surprise that, according to statistics from the National Office of Family and Population, 60% of sexually active young people do not protect themselves during sex and only 19% of girls aged 15- to 24-years-old state that they have some knowledge about the risk of unprotected sex and of HIV/ Aids. Health officials have also caused an alarm about the abortion rate and the number of single mothers among the above age group. Young Tunisian women who leave the family home for higher education embark on a discovery, bare handed, of their sexuality within a circle of young people and a society that still carries the heavy weight of patriarchy and taboos related to sexuality, especially female sexuality. Young, Tunisian, female students are increasingly torn between the hope of liberation and the necessity to conform with social norms regarding sex and sexuality.



Amira Khader (Palestine)

Sexual Abuse within the Family in the Occupied State of Palestine

Sexual and gender-based violence within the family renders women and girls particularly vulnerable, especially in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) where the family is the primary social and economic unit. This paper addresses the problematic issue of sexual abuse, taking place within the family and the gaps in legal and communal responses to it. Palestinian legislation pertaining to sexual abuse is grounded in the penal codes of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which interacts with the personal status law (Sharia law). The absence of legislation meeting international human rights standards for preventing violence and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes continues to cultivate and reinforce a culture of impunity for sexual and gender-based violence. This paper stresses the instrumental role of legislation in providing protection against sexual and gender-based violence in families in the oPt based on data obtained from interviews with the Women Studies Center in the oPt, Palestinian female lawyers, and one victims of sexual harassment.











Andrea Jovanović (Serbia)

Zero Clout: (Re) inventing the Objectivity of Gender within the Frame of Marxist Feminism

In 2017, feminism was both celebrated and in crisis, especially Western liberal feminism, with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the cry that the movement was anything but inclusive. Feminist theory is also struggling with deep issues, such as how gender should be conceptualized and if there is a universal theory of gender. This paper addresses these theoretical crises in feminism by focusing on Marxist feminism. Marxism is usually seen as the universalist theory, so re-examining Marxist feminism in this context is a logical start. In doing so, the goal should perhaps be to focus on Marx’s understanding of objectivity. It is argued that his conception might be more fruitful to goal of Marxist feminism. The trajectory of Marxism in the feminist context is divided to two groups: (1) postmodern Marxism that gave up on any form of objectivity and universality and (2) Marxist feminism that tried to stay loyal to Marx but still re-conceptualize his ideas. This work opens up a space for drawing upon Marx’s commodity fetishism in a way that is currently not present in Marxist feminism and yet may be fruitful.










Binazir Ibrahim Muktar (Kenya)

Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene among Girls in Mogadishu, Somalia

Menstruation is part of the reproductive cycle of young women, yet in the Somali it is often seen as dirty. The silence regarding menstruation and the lack of proper information at home and in schools result in women and girls having very little knowledge about what is happening to their bodies when they menstruate. In many instances, menstruation is met with shame and social taboos that are further manifested in social practices, restricting mobility, freedom and access to daily activities and services. This can impact a girl’s schooling. This project challenges these social norms and their impact by providing menstrual sanitation trainings in schools through clubs and organized menstrual hygiene advocacy material. The trainings and advocacy will include both boys and girls to have the greatest impact. Beyond this, the project will teach young women to make and properly care for their own menstrual supplies, allowing for a consistent supply of clean menstrual pads. The advocacy and training combined will allow young women to continue in school while menstruating.











Carmen Keshek (Palestine)

Female Students Sexuality in Tunisia. Between Realities and Social Adaptation Strategies

This doctoral research project proposes to analyze the impediments to implementing the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in the occupied Palestinian territories. The focus of the analysis is the colonial relationship between Palestine and Israel and the hegemony of the international community as represented by the United Nations. The research looks at whether the rise of the women, peace and security agenda as a normative framework within the liberal values and norms of the Western community can be implemented in Palestine, which is still under Israeli colonization. It is hypothesized that Resolution 1325 will maintain and further entrench the masculine patriarchy in global and local politics. The research will use the constructivist theory of international relations on norms diffusion to investigate the rise of the norms around women, peace and security in the global system, and the consequences of securitizing women's issues. Moreover, the research will use post-colonial theories and critical feminist theory to understand the reproduction and reconstruction of the liberal hegemony on colonized states like Palestine.











Cecília Sibambo (Mozambique)

Integration of Gender into the Curriculum of Mozambique’s Defense Forces

Resolution 1325, the UN’s landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security, reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction. Statistics show that when women are included in peace processes, there is a 20% increase in the likelihood of an agreement lasting, at least, two years and a 35% increase in the likelihood of a deal lasting for 15 years. Women are, however, greatly underrepresented, being only 2% of principal mediators, 4% of witnesses and signatories, and 9% of negotiators in peace processes between 1992 and 2011. This research paper stresses the importance of equal gender participation in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and suggests that for the traditionally male-dominated defence sector to achieve gender equality, change must happen at the initial stage of education. Thus, this paper elaborates and puts forward a new mandatory curriculum with lessons on gender, peace and security to be adopted in the various schools of the armed forces of Mozambique for all new recruits — men and women alike.

Cecelia Sibambo










Chinenye Anekwe (Nigeria)

Training Rural Women on Assembly, Installation, Maintenance and Repair of Solar Systems  for Cooking and Lighting in Nigeria

More than half of the population lack access to energy in Nigeria. Those who do have power, mostly in urban centres, face up to 10 hours of blackouts a day, and energy poverty rural areas is almost absolute. People in rural communities live below the poverty level and solve their energy needs using cheap fuels such as candles, paraffin, firewood, and kerosene, all of which can negatively impact health. Because of traditional gender roles, women and girls spend productive hours fetching firewood for cooking and heating their houses, with others produce paraffin for lighting their homes. They also spend more time in polluted, indoor environments cooking and taking care of their families. In Nigeria, several women-led organizations, including Solar Sister, have been actively involved in combating the energy reality of rural women by training 1,500 women entrepreneurs to distribute clean energy products (solar lights and improved cook stoves). The import and distribution of renewable energy products has not been without challenges. First, most of the solar lanterns and small home systems are quite expensive. Second, some of these products are not well suited for the Nigerian weather, so they do not last, and there is usually only one-year warranty on the products. Currently no experts exist in the communities to repair faulty products. This project seeks to address these issues by training women to maintain and repair solar-powered cooking and lighting units. By so doing, it addressed the lack of energy in rural Uganda and increases women’s income potential.











Freda Imma Amuron (Uganda)

Reduction of Incidence and Burden of Obstetric Fistula among the Pokot Women of Amudat District in Karamoja, Uganda

Obstetric fistula, or an opening between the vaginal canal and the urethra or anus, can occur in cases of prolonged, obstructed birth. Untreated obstetric fistula leads to the Pokot women in Uganda who are already marginalized due to gender-biased beliefs and practices, being cast out of society due to the uncontrolled leakage of urine or feces. Obstetric fistula can be avoided or treated with modern obstetric care. However, traditional birth attendants in the Pokot community lack the training needed to avoid obstetric fistula. This project uses a participatory approach to involve stakeholders at all levels in the Pokot community to attack the medical causes and social and economic impacts of obstetric fistula. Both women and men will be trained and educated on the prevention, causes of and sources of treatment for obstetric fistula. The survivors will participate in identifying other women with fistula using the snowball methodology. Peer-to-peer sessions will allow past fistula patients to share their experiences and support other survivors in the community. The health staff, especially professionally trained nurses and midwives, will train traditional birth attendants and support fistula patients. The goals are to reintegrate past fistula patients into their communities and decrease the occurrence of obstetric fistula in Pokot communities.











Harriet Achieng (Uganda)

Gender Dynamics of Ageing in Rural Uganda: Meeting Energy, Water Access and Improving of Shelter/Housing Needs

Aging women in Uganda face a variety of issues, especially in the rural Tororo District. Like many people living in rural Uganda, elderly women do not have access to proper lighting, clean energy for cooking, or housing. Since younger people are moving to the cities for work, the task of walking long distances to collect firewood and water falls to older women due to gender-based expectations in the culture. Added to this, the Tororo District has been hit by environmental degradation from global climate change, killing much of the native grass needed to make housing. This leaves many elderly women living in dilapidated shelters that let in the rain, leaving puddles of water that can negatively impact women’s health. The government of Uganda has set a goal “to increase access to clean, affordable and reliable energy services as a contribution to poverty eradication.” Due to the intersection of traditional gender roles, poverty, and aging, this goal should focus on elderly, rural woman in Uganda.











João Carlos Colaço (Mozambique)

The Role of the Academic Community in Contributing to Peace and Security Processes in Mozambique

Mozambican society has been historically marked by wars, conflicts, poverty, social exclusion and natural disasters, with women and children being left more vulnerable than their male counterparts. This project explores how women are generally excluded from conflict resolution and reconstruction processes after periods of instability and draws attention to the role the academic community can play in gender, peace and security issues in Mozambique. The aim of this research paper is to serve as a basis for the elaboration and implementation of a curriculum that encompasses theories related to gender, peace and security that could be a positive catalyst in promoting the role of women in peace-keeping efforts. While the curriculum is designed specifically for the sociology course of the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique, it could be implemented elsewhere and used by government institutions to raise awareness of gender issues.











Luka Lazović (Serbia)

Confronting Serbia‘s Past: The Feminist Memory Politics of Women in Black

This essay is about the intersection of gender and memory politics in Serbia. Focusing on the Belgrade-based Women in Black (WiB), it analyses the forms of their mnemonic mobilisation as part of their efforts to offer counter-narratives to state-sponsored memory projects designed to uphold the continuity between the past and present. This anti-war, anti-patriarchy, anti-nationalist and anti-capitalist movement is a unique phenomenon in the regional and global political arenas. By exploring WiB’s use of calendar to contest dominant commemorations and national identity constructions, the work devotes specific attention to the dynamic interchange of memory resistance, the public space and the state. The essay demonstrates how the engagement in the struggle over interpretations of the past may be used to deconstruct narratives of masculinised, war-related memory politics. While the influence of WiB on government policies has been marginal, it has had far greater influence on Serbian society through activism and staging of symbolic commemorative events. WiB has played a crucial role in breaking the politics of silence and denial around the recent war past. This has been extremely difficult due prolonged state oppression, but it has been achieved through WiB’s ideological and political consistency.











Maaref Fadel (Lebanon)

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Women and Children being Victimized by Trafficking

In 2016, the total number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon topped 1.1 million people. Combined with refuges from Iraq, Palestine, Egypt and other countries, the Lebanon’s population increased 25% that year. Most of the Syrian refugees are women and girls between the ages of 18 and 60 who left to escape the conflict in their home country. Once in Lebanon, the refugees are susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking. According to the 2015 United Nations Trafficking Protocol, human trafficking does not require movement across borders. Instead, it is broadly defined as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” This research looks at the role of both NGOs and the Lebanese government in curbing human trafficking of refugees, specifically through analysing gaps in the current regulations and sanctions for human trafficking in Lebanon. It presents a case study linking the patriarchal culture in Lebanon to the lack of response against the trafficking of refugee women and girls in the country.











Marko Matović (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Maternity Leave Protection in City of Istočno Sarajevo. Addressing Corporate Responsibility and Building Local Strategies

Many women in Bosnia and Herzegovina have stories about losing jobs because of pregnancy, despite having the legal right to maternity leave. Violations of the right to maternity leave are occurring in bad economic situations characterized by huge competition in the labour market, low wages and poor working conditions. Although the legislation is mostly in line with international standards and provides legal protection for pregnant women, lack of implementation of these laws puts mothers in an unfavourable position in the labour market. The aim of this project is to address violations of the right to the maternity leave directly with the people and institutions violating the law. In order to do that, it is necessary to collect data about the position of women in the labour market, the first activity of the project. The focus will be on women in Istočno Sarajevo, which is a small city in the eastern part of the Bosnian entity called the Republic of Srpska. The second activity of the project will be to organize roundtables with business owners where the issue of maternity leave will be addressed with data from phase one. At the same time, employers’ perspectives will be collected. The first two activities will lead to the creation of a strategy for the improvement of the economic position of women in Istočno Sarajevo, focusing on maternity leave. The strategy will be produced and implemented in cooperation with city authorities and will be a model for other municipalities in the country.











Marwa Kouki (Tunisia/Lebanon)

”NAWARA” : Women Centers for Development in Rural Tunisia

In January 2011, the people of Tunisia protested, using slogans such as “Employment! Liberty! Dignity!” The Jasmin revolution started in the poorest, western regions of the country. The people demanded employment and a decent living. Despite this uprising, unemployment, poverty, regional inequalities, and high centralization of resources have increased since 2011. Women suffer more under economic deprivation, while advances in gender equality are linked with advances in development. Therefore, empowering women as economic actors who take part in production and consumption can contribute to the development of rural Tunisia. The project proposed to do that by positioning women as agents of change for their individual and collective good through rural development centres, offering educational and income-generating programmes for women. The educational programmes include literacy, entrepreneurship and living skills programmes, while the income-generation programme is centred around producing halfa products, clay products and biogas along with recycling. The first NARAWA centre in Sidi Smail will have all the machinery needed for the production of goods as well as a space for educational activities. The goal of the project is to have all production and educational programmes fully functional within three years.












Masha Durkalić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Feminist Activism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia: Political Potentials for Social Change

The contemporary feminist movements in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia are rooted in the 1990s wars, which led to the break-up of former Yugoslavia. While all three countries share a mutual history of belonging to a vanished state, their paths have diverged in political and economic terms. This difference is also reflected in each country’s feminist movements’ political goals, tactics and development. The research proposal outlines a study to compare and contrast feminist activism in the three countries during a period when the region of South-East Europe is witnessing regressive trends, such as the return to nationalism, the rise of neo-conservatism and populism and re-patriarchalisation. It is argued that the increasing marginalization of political engagement of feminist activists is affected by broader political and social developments, combined with the NGO-isation of women’s rights organizations, which restricts their possibilities. Feminist resistance in the three countries is explored through a case study approach, including interviews with members of the feminist movements in order to explore their experiences, motivations and expectations. The research is situated in social movements and feminist theories, as well as theories of citizenship and practices of contentious politics.


Mercy Chaluma (Malawi)

Law on Abortion in Malawi: Effects on Women’s Reproductive Health Rights and How to Change the Status Quo

Under the Malawi Penal Code, the performance of abortions is illegal. Seeking an abortion is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Abortions can only be legally performed to save the life of the pregnant woman. This 88-year-old law continues to be enforced despite Malawi ratifying several international treaties in favour of legalized abortion. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 53% of pregnancies in Malawi are unintended, and close to 30% of those end in abortion. Moreover, 40% of all gynaecological admissions in Malawi are post-abortion care cases as a result of clandestine and unsafe abortions. Abortion accounts for 18% of maternal deaths in Malawi (Guttmacher Institute, 2014). The law has not stopped abortions, but only made them unsafe resulting in a cost in in excess of $500,000 a year for post-abortion treatment. The penal code needs to be changed to decriminalize abortion. Furthermore, the government needs to address the root causes of unwanted pregnancy to reduce the need for abortion. This two-pronged approach for dealing with unsafe abortions in Malawi will mean that fewer women risk their lives undergoing unsafe abortions.











Ofoq Roshan (Afghanistan)

Traditional and cultural obstacles against girl’s education in Afghanistan: Why prohibiting girls’ education in rural areas is gender-based violence

Accessing education for girls has been and remains a significant concern in Afghanistan, in particular in rural areas. This paper focuses on the obstacles to girls’ education in such areas. Feminist theory and literature is used to examine how culture, traditions and social customs create barriers that limit girls’ access to school and to analyse the impact of patriarchal society and the unequal balance of power between women and girls/men and boys. Without achievement of girls’ human right to education, and given the patriarchal nature of the country, other forms of social, economic, and cultural opportunities and rights are restricted. In this sense, restricting access to education is a form of gender-based violence in that it perpetuates other forms of gender-based violence against girls and women. It is important that strategies to address girls’ education make more explicit links between education, freedom from violence, and human rights. Both education and girls’ and women’s safety are recognized as human rights; they are protected by laws and policies at the national and international level. However, legal rights are constantly being broken. Hence, there is a need to understand how the moral and political dimension of human rights, in particular the indivisibility of human rights, can contribute to breaking the cycle of gender-based violence.











Oureratou Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso)

Offsetting the Gendered Side Effects of Mining in Yatenga, the North Region of Burkina Faso

The project addresses the consequences of gender inequality in accessing the opportunities offered by mining in Burkina Faso. These consequences include the loss of women’s income-generating activities, prostitution and sexual exploitation. With a duration of three years, the project will be implemented through activities consisting of training women and girls from the four impact zones around the Endeavor Mining Corporation’s Karma mine in entrepreneurship, mechanics and mining equipment. In total, 220 women, 330 girls and 60 women’s groups will benefit directly from the project. The innovation is that it seeks to improve the prospects of women and girls inside and outside the mining sector, making them key players and not just beneficiaries. The women and girls benefiting from this project will receive advice on using part of their income to make sustainable investments in a promising sector. The project will also strengthen the capacity of the Endeavor Mining company, the regional and communal authorities, and the media on gender responsive budgeting and gender mainstreaming. At the end of the project, the gender responsive budgeting framework and the gender mainstreaming strategy that Endeavor Mining will acquire will enable them to improve the women's perspective in their intervention.











Peter Collins Katuramu (Uganda)

Reducing the Violation of Rights for Women and Girls with Disabilities in Kabarole District, Western Region of Uganda

The mainstreaming disability approach, which is line with the feminist disability approach, emphasizes the whole gender system to highlight dismissed voices and misrepresented experiences in regard to gender and disability. When disability and gender intersect, rights violations take unique forms, springing from specific causes that require particular interventions. Women and girls with disabilities in the Kabarole District of Uganda face social, economic and political marginalization that has left them the poorest group in one of the more developed areas in Uganda. They are unable to access justice in spite of gross violation of their rights due to lack of mobility and the high costs associated with seeking justice from the local authorities and courts in Uganda. This project aims to reduce the violation of rights against women and girls with disabilities in the Kabarole district through integrating their needs in the district plans and budgets by the beginning of 2019. Integration of their needs into departments like health, education, community-based services, service commissions, and human rights will make women and girls with disabilities and their care takers empowered to seek for justice. Activities including awareness campaigns, community dialogue, advocacy meetings, capacity building trainings for different stake holders and many other interventions will also be carried out to support the strategy of integrating of needs for women and girls with disabilities in the district plans and budgets to change the current situation on the ground.











Rosa Maria de Lurdes Zaqueu (Mozambique)

Gender, Peace and Security: Gender Mainstreaming of the Ministry of Defense

This study addresses issues of gender inequality within the Ministry of Defence of Mozambique, making the case that while women have participated actively in battlefields during the fight for independence, they were – and still are – excluded from senior positions and high-level decision-making bodies within defence institutions. It proposes the adoption of measures for the inclusion of gender integration, such as the establishment of annual quotas for the incorporation of women into the military and military institutions, the creation of gender units and policies that raise awareness and promote gender equality and the review of military codes of conduct so that they address gender-specific needs. This research paper shows that gender mainstreaming and integration would not only reduce discrimination against women in the defence sector but also help the development of the nation as a whole.

Rosa Maria










Rosaline Banya (Sierra Leone)

Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy in Bo District Southern Sierra Leone

This project focuses on improving maternal health by reducing the incidence of teenage pregnancy in the Bo district of southern Sierra Leone. The root causes of teenage pregnancies include early and unprotected sexual activity; early marriage; negative cultural perceptions of contraceptive use guided by myths and taboos; no confidence, skills, and knowledge on the part of parents to support their children regarding reproductive health issues; and sexual and gender-based violence. Due to these problems, teenagers face severe and sometimes irreversible health, social, and economic consequences from early pregnancy. Pregnant teenage girls often drop out of school, leaving them mostly dependent on men for economic support and decision making. Early pregnancy can also lead to serious health problems like obstetric fistula or even death. This project is designed to combat these problems through empowering girls and boys from puberty to their teens (9–19) with knowledge regarding reproductive health and access to contraceptive services. Parents and other adult community members will be educated around the norms and taboos of sexual activity in order to support the girls in exercising their reproductive and sexual rights in their communities. By empowering adolescents to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive rights and activating the community in support of that, this project will improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in the Bo district.











Sophia Nabukenya (Uganda)

Gendered Perspectives on the Provision of Contraceptive Services to Adolescents

Sexual and reproductive health risks, resulting from early, unprotected, and unplanned sexual activity account for the highest rates of disease and death among adolescents in Uganda. Early pregnancy also impedes on girls’ ability to finish school and be gainfully employed. Provision of contraceptive services to adolescents has numerous positive effects on the lives and wellbeing of adolescents. These effects include higher attainment in education and employment opportunities, especially for females who face the greatest risks due to pregnancy. Social cultural factors, coupled with insensitive and irresponsive policies that do not address adolescent contraceptive needs, hinder provision of, access to and utilization of contraceptive services. A comprehensive policy review should be done along with comprehensive sexual education materials disseminated at all levels, to mitigate the negative ideas around contraceptive services for adolescents.











Tereza Vujošević (Montenegro)

The Image of Female Entrepeneurs in Contemporary Montenegro

Entrepreneurship is one way for women to achieve fuller economic benefits and to attain better gender equality in all domains. Image is also important in social interaction and positioning for entrepreneurial women. The objective of this research proposal is to investigate the image of female entrepreneurs in Montenegro as it plays out against the ideal of femininity portrayed throughout history in various forms. The research will also cast light on the perception of female entrepreneurs in Montenegro. Since the concept of femininity and its intersection with entrepreneurship and leadership have not been mapped in the Montenegrin context so far, three determinants fill be in focus: perception of female entrepreneurs’ image in Montenegro, factors legitimating the image of femininity, and female leadership styles. Girls and women are often put in inferior position due to existence of idealize images of women. The emphasis is on body as an entity that reflects information about position in society and personal identity. This leads to the hypothesis that female entrepreneurs are perceived as less confident than male entrepreneurs. To counter that, female entrepreneurs tend to act and seem more like menFinally, it is hypothesized that female entrepreneurs tend to have more collaborative approach to leadership. These hypotheses will be tested with text analysis of legal and regulatory documents along with a survey of Montenegrins from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and educational levels.