Fellows 2019

Aishwarya Sehgal (India)

Girls’ Education in North India: Entitlement, Morality, or Both?

This essay explores an alternate principle/framework of morality that can be used by government school teachers to make the Right to Education more effective as a legal construct in North India. By tracing the roots of Hinduism to the Vedic period it becomes clear that the true essence of Hinduism is a religion that promotes gender equality and girls’ right to education. A demonstration of how  Indian culture has changed over time because of invasions by the Aryans, the Mughals and the British in the Northern part of India shows how Vedic Hinduism has been misinterpreted to suit the needs of those in power. The result is a perverted culture that perpetuates gender-based discrimination and poses socio-cultural constraints to girls’ education in a way that makes it difficult for them to exercise their fundamental right to education. A systematic gender analysis of the Right to Education Act in India shows its limitations and an argument is made for the need to make it more gender sensitive.



Aramadhan Issiko (Uganda)

Engaging Young Women and Girls in Political Participation in Uganda

The purpose of this project is to increase the political participation of young women (18 to 35 years old) and girls (16 to 18 years old) in the coming elections (2021) and post-elections period in Uganda. These young women and girls will be the next breed of transformational women leaders in Uganda. Promoting their political participation will help young women to take effective action on issues that matter to them as an effort to addressing gender inequality. According to Plan International, 2018 (Girl's Report), it is important for political participation to start in the early years of a girl’s life. These are the most formative years in a woman’s life during which girls and young women build confidence in themselves and their voices and learn to take up their rights to actively engage in social and political life. It is also the most vulnerable time, where many instances of exploitation and harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation occur. The project will also harmonize the government’s understanding and relationship with young women as important agents in the development of Uganda in the Twenty First Century.



Fátima António De Deus (Mozambique)

Creating Policy Guidelines and Sexual Harassment and Gender Sensitization Committees in Schools

This project stems from the need to define proactive and preventive actions aimed at reducing the growing wave of sexual harassment and gender-based violence that has been observed in schools in Mozambique. There is a vulnerability of students abused by teachers or even other students, due to the complicity and consent of the employees and of the school board. The prevention and combating of gender-based violence is one of the priorities of the Mozambican government. This project aims to create policy guidelines and the creation of sexual harassment committees and gender sensitization, in order to train and educate school communities to combat gender-based violence in Mozambican schools, with a view to defining actions to respond to the growing and serious wave of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in schools, as well as promote, valorise and protect the rights of girls and thus create an environment of peace and social security.



Gabriel Oladipupo Ogbeyemi (Nigeria)

Socio-Economic Correlates of Multiple Sexual Partnerships and the Coping Strategies Among Female Students in South-Western Nigeria

Relationship patterns among students in  higher institutions in Nigeria have changed drastically, affecting the values placed on sex. Cohabitation, open relations and friends with benefits (fwb) are some of the changes that have been observed in the relationship patterns among students, leading to an increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In a bid to fulfil some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, this thesis will address six of these goals. It will strive to address the goals of (1) reducing poverty, (2) eliminating hunger, (3) improving good health and well-being, (4) providing quality education, (5) closing the gender parity gap, and (6) reducing equality. This study will consider the nexus between economy and females’ access to financial resources in the context of multiple sexual partnership. 



Godfred Baah-Dwase (Ghana)

Reduction of Intimate Partner Violence Through Advocacy and Education

Domestic and intimate partner violence remains one of the major causes of non-participation by women in public life. It inhibits their capacity to contribute their resources to the benefit of society. In 2007, the Domestic Violence Act was signed into law in Ghana. Under this law, the role of the survivor of domestic violence in the criminal proceedings under this law is to serve as a witness against the perpetrator as according to Section 8 of the Domestic Violence Act. After the prosecution, little or no service is given to the survivor of violence. This situation exposes the survivor to ridicule from her environment, meaning, she will get no satisfaction by leading someone’s father, brother, uncle, or son, a breadwinner, to jail. The purpose of this project is to bring these women together and train them to be advocates in their communities at the Aowin Municipal Assembly in the Western Region of Ghana in five years. It will minimize the incidence of domestic and intimate partner violence through the creation of advocates from the survivors and the community.



Hassan Waddimba (Uganda)

Strengthening Employment and Social Entrepreneurship Skills for Female Youth with Disabilities in Order to Overcome Multiple Marginalization in Central Uganda

This 2-year pilot project proposal seeks to undertake interventions to uplift the social status of female youth with disabilities in central Uganda, and thus increase their recognition as contributing and valuable members of their communities. The project recognizes that there are various factors upon which social status is constructed, among which is education, employment or entrepreneurship. Female youth with disabilities in Uganda, however, face multiple marginalizations arising from their gender, age and disabilities. Due to challenges that impede their access to education, they lack the skills to directly access employment in the open labour market. And due to other economic reasons, they are unable to establish their own start-ups. This coupled with societal beliefs and misconceptions about the potentials of female youth with disabilities has rendered the latter to have the lowest ranking in society. This project will thus seek to establish a pilot Center for Employment and Social Entrepreneurship to build the capacity of female youth with disabilities in Uganda to compete for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.



Imeldina Eduardo Matimbe Rego (Mozambique)

Female Dignity and Leadership: A Strategy for Promoting Women in Police Organizations

The main objective of this analysis is to promote women within the police organization of Mozambique.  In order to achieve the main objective, principles of human dignity are identified; the history of human dignity in Mozambique is presented; the factors that destroy the dignity of policewomen are identified; ethics principles that can promote women’s dignity in police organizations are suggested; strategies to develop women’s dignity are established. This will allow the researcher to suggest gender aware strategies to promote women and to support female dignity. Through a qualitative investigation, a reflection will be made based on modern theories of dignity and leadership; in order to give more consistency to the research, some documents such as Human Rights Universal Declaration, and the Mozambican Constitution will also be taken into consideration.



Irma Šiljak (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Relationship Between Women's NGOs and Government Institutions: Impact on Access to Specialized Services for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Violence against women as a worldwide phenomenon is one of the burning issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many responses have been developed both by the government structures and women’s nongovernmental organizations in order to tackle the issue of intimate partner violence as one of the most common forms of violence against women. This paper specifically examines the relationship between government institutions and women’s NGOs in the field of intimate partner violence in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim is to better the existing relationship between the government structures and women’s NGOs and to produce new critical knowledge on the impacts of this relationship on access to specialized services for survivors of intimate partner violence. The existing relationships are examined in terms of cooperation and financial allocations for the issue of intimate partner violence.



Jeta Rexha (Kosovo)

Identity and Geography: The Impact of the Albanian Diaspora in Post-War Kosovo

This essay is about the effects of recent mass migration of Kosovar Albanians and changing local perceptions about the role played by the diaspora in post-war Kosovo. It seeks to illuminate the changes that Kosovo has gone through as a result of the diaspora’s temporary seasonal influx during the summer of months. In the first decade of the Twenty-First Century, the diaspora was seen as a modernizing force as well as a symbol of culture preservation. It will be argued that this positive notion has been increasingly challenged in the last few years. This paper aims to look deeper into why the attitude of locals has shifted from being welcoming to a more reserved one in relation to its ethnoscape.



Kondwani Macdonald Mhone (Malawi)

Engagement of Local Councils and Community Structures in Eradicating Child Marriage

Child marriage remains an issue in Malawi as its prevalence remains one of the highest in the world. Evidence points to girls being affected disproportionally with one out of six girls are married off before the age of 15, compared to one out of nine boys married before the age of 18. The problem has led to multiple negative outcomes for the girls: dropping out of school, teen pregnancies and health complications, including death. Despite its interventions, Malawi has registered an insignificant decrease in child marriage in recent years. The main cause is understood to be the lack of sustainability and coordination of the projects and programs as a result of the exclusion of some key actors in the course of implementation. This project aims to strengthen the structures and ensure that the district councils and community leaders are accountable for the issue. This will create an environment with active urgency on the issue. The project will use the approach of raising awareness in communities and empowering the girls and communities to take part in ending child marriage. As its main objective, it will ensure that the district councils have bylaws on child marriage and that the development plans include specific and realistic interventions to end child marriage.



Lensa Biyena Geleta (Ethiopia)

Making Gender Matter in Ethiopian Politics

This project recognizes the recent developments across the world, including in Ethiopia, that have resulted in the rise in the number of women actively participating in politics. First as voters, and later as candidates and elected leaders. The project further recognizes that the existence of elected representatives of women in political spaces with the power to make decisions has not effectively resulted in the expected gender-sensitive public policies, budgets and legislation. The project attributes this to the limited awareness of the elected women leaders of the gender issues in communities; the non-existence of platforms for women in communities to engage with their leaders; and the absence of opportunities for stakeholder collaborations on advancing gender issues through political representation. The project thus proposes to address this gap by piloting a series of interventions in Addis Ababa, over 3 years, aimed at building the capacity of representatives of women in parliament and political parties on gender; building the capacity of women in communities to regularly and effectively engage with their representatives; and establishing networks for collaboration amongst civil society organizations, parliamentarians, political parties, and women in communities.



Marta Bojović (Serbia)

The Sounds of Silence: A Small-Scale Scoping Study on Self-Censorship Among Female Serbian Bloggers

This research is conceived of as a small scoping study that explores the relationship between online hate speech and the tendency of Serbian female bloggers to self-censor. In the first part of the essay, the problems of defining hate speech and determining the difference between online and offline hate speech are considered, and the question as to whether hate speech should be protected as free speech is addressed. In order to explore the connection between hate speech and self-censorship, both thematic and critical discourse analysis is used to analyze data from a survey conducted with nine bloggers. Research results showed that the hate speech instances against them were the result of emotional states of the perpetrators, and as such, they were expected to be the carriers of emotional labour. The results also proved that even though the bloggers use self-censorship as a means of protecting themselves, they still receive hate comments. Although they expressed unwillingness to attach the label of victims onto them, they still recognized the importance of tackling the problem hate speech. The findings of this work provide new possibilities for future research on this topic.



Mirna Nazeer Hussain Ansari (Palestine)

Juvenile Delinquency and Masculinity: The Need for Gender-responsive Programming in Juvenile Correctional Institutions in Palestine

Juvenile reoffending is a costly and perplexing social problem in Palestine. Palestinian boys are brought up in a system that encourages hegemonic forms of masculinities involving competition, hierarchy, stoicism, sexism, and homophobia. These tendencies are reinforced through institutional and interpersonal mechanisms and through the experience of living under Israeli military occupation. This paper discusses the importance of redefining and reconstructing masculinity in the Palestinian juvenile correction centres. This paper discusses how youth identities, and specifically their gendered selves, are maintained or disrupted while in the juvenile correctional treatment programs in Palestine. The specific analysis will include assessing the need for a gendered responsive program in the Palestinian context. The discussion seeks to open an angle of conversation concerning the significance of masculinities in juvenile delinquency centres in Palestine. The paper poses an alternative lens through which to examine whether the juvenile system in Palestine fulfils its charge of therapeutic rehabilitation in order to prevent future involvement in crime and, if not, how we can implement a gender-responsive program to help improve the current system.



Najla'a A. M. Attaallah (Palestine/Gaza)

Towards the Implementation of Effective Gender Mainstreaming in UNRWA Infrastructure Projects

The project proposes a systematic model of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) infrastructure projects to make them more rights-based and gender responsive. The project aims to: 1) institutionalize gender and human rights (HRs) analysis and mainstreaming within the infrastructure department, 2) build the capacity of the staff to conduct gender and HRs analysis and mainstream the findings into the design of infrastructure project to make them human rights and gender responsive. The project is therefore divided into three parts. First, developing a gender and HRs mainstreaming guideline for the infrastructure department with a focus on education facilities, and reviewing all policies for this purpose such as the bidding process from gender and HRs perspective. Second, capacity building for the staff, and third, application of skills where the staff will develop rehabilitation designs for school buildings in Gaza strip from gender and HRs perspective.



Rayma Titia Amélia Rajá (Mozambique)

Providing Gender Equality Education in the Work Sector at Eduardo Mondlane University EMU 

The project calls for action and engagement with gender equality issues and women's rights at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Mozambique, following the perceived lack of knowledge of women’s rights and policies against sexual harassment at the institution. Indeed, the project’s main objective is to provide gender equality education at the workplace at the UEM in order to promote knowledge on gender equality and women's rights, as a means of reducing cases of sexual harassment and, consequently, school dropout. To attain its goals, the project will implement short courses on gender issues, women's rights, sexuality and sexual harassment throughout the UEM. It is expected that the aforementioned activities will raise awareness of gender issues in the UEM academic community. The project also proposes strategies to tackle sexual harassment, including the creation of a unit where girls and women can report incidents of harassment, and the establishment of a gender and anti-sexual harassment policy aimed at safeguarding women’s rights at UEM.



Rita Berisha (Kosovo)

The Forgotten Contribution of Women in Two Pre-War Social Movements in Kosovo

While Kosovar Albanian peaceful resistance in Kosovo has a long history, it has been marginalized in many ways, because of the emphasis on the 1990s armed struggle and wars in the ex-Yugoslavia. After the 1981 protests in Kosovo, the Ilegalja movement – an underground protest movement led by Albanian students and intellectuals – continued protest actions. The counter-measures of the authorities led to the imprisonment of many members, who were not freed until the early 1990s. From the Ilegalja political prisoners emerged the idea of blood feud reconciliation as a necessity to stop the so-called eye for an eye law, which had a long tradition in Kosovo. This essay focuses on the crucial role of women in both movements, which has largely been suppressed because men have taken the credit for their activities. The topic is explored from the perspective of history and collective memory to show how women have been erased from master narratives. The predominant mode of remembering in independent Kosovo has to do with the Kosovo War, which mostly brackets out the period preceding it. Women’s experiences and expectations are studied through interviews and newspapers and photos of statues of men in Prishtina are used to amplify scholarly works, giving an insight into what “should” be remembered and which part of history is neglected.



Saja M. I Majdoubeh (Palestine)

Requiem for Women's Subordination? Children's Right to Not Wear Religious Symbols

This research paper assumes that there is a right for children not to wear religious symbols and considers this right as a prima facie right, since it affects the autonomy and dignity of the individual. Thus it takes a more daring approach than that of the traditional human rights mechanisms. This assumption is based on the right of children to religious freedom. The paper shines a light on the connection between children’s enjoyment of religious freedom and women’s subordination in a world in which religion, human rights and gender equality have never coexisted comfortably. It examines the role of the European Court of Human Rights in promoting the rights of children and the termination of women’s subordination who have been indoctrinated to practice as subordinators from their childhood. The paper concludes that the ECtHR, like parents and states; is a part of the patriarchal system and avoids to make efforts to demolish it, even at the expense of human rights.



Sanja Dojkić (Serbia)

Body, Dignity, Imprisonment: The Invisible Women of County Jail in Belgrade

The increase of women in jails and prisons is a global trend. But even with that fact, prison and jail authorities fail to meet the specific needs of female detainees, because women remain a minority in these institutions. The fact is that some of the difficult experiences in jail are closely connected to the gender of the detainee. Women offenders are multitudinously marginalized – first, because of the mere fact that they are women, with accompanying identities such as class, race and sexuality, and second, as people who broke the law. Women in County Jail in Belgrade are especially vulnerable because of the inhumane conditions they are put into for a (non-) specific amount of time, that affect their health, bodily integrity and self-perception. Not only are they vulnerable, but they are completely invisible to the public eye. Neglecting the issues of these women is a form of discrimination.



Suhaila Mubariz Qaderi (Afghanistan)

Women's Political Participation in Afghanistan

This final assignment aims at discussing the numerous reasons why Afghan women do not use their votes in their own favour, leaving it to others to use their votes, either directly or by their name. After the Taliban collapsed in 2001, the new Afghan constitution contained specific provisions that ensured women have equal human rights, including the rights to education and work, in addition to determining the quota for women's representatives in the Afghan parliament, the Jirga. Women in Afghanistan meet the challenges faced by their constitution, for the purpose of administering and serving their country at all national and temporary levels. Although women have got political rights in Afghanistan, the culture is, especially in the municipalities, still largely patriarchal and indifferent to the role of liberal women in these communities. Additionally, women's abilities to exercise their rights are hindered by a depressingly low level of awareness. This assignment and the article that will result from it, focus on this problematic situation in the hope of contributing to the discussion on who in fact has the decision to vote, become a candidate or even a parliamentarian representative of the people in Afghanistan.



Thelma Aretha Kaliu (Malawi)

Beyond Limits: Reducing the Prevalence of Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in Institutions of Higher Learning in Malawi

Beyond Limits is a project designed to reduce the prevalence of sexual and intimate partner violence. The project targets private and public institutions of higher learning in Lilongwe city, Malawi. The project aims to empower young women of ages between 18-24 to lead and advocate for changes in attitudes and practices that perpetuate violence in these institutions. The project will empower young women to be analytical, courageous and to be activist to seek their rights and protection. Through training and mentorship, young women will be able to realize their self-worth and potential beyond the limitations set for them. Consequently, tolerance to violence will be reduced. With adequate capacity building, young women will establish youth groups to advocate against violence against women and to promote gender equality in universities. This project will promote collective action to increase accountability of university management in responding to GBV cases. It is with this background that the project shall influence changes in negative attitudes, behaviour and practices that perpetuate sexual and intimate partner violence.



Valarie Jepkemoi Chemweno (Kenya)

Contract Farming and Food Security Nexus: A Gender Perspective of the Avocado Sector in Kenya

Contract farming (CF) is slowly gaining ground in Kenya, with the government urging farmers to dive deep, without thinking of its implications on the food security of the country. In Kenya, farmers are urged and almost coerced into the growing of avocado, and to abandon the farming of staple food crops with the promise that it will fetch better prices and higher incomes. While previous studies have shown the improved income for smallholder farmers who take part in contract farming, gender relations within contract farming schemes have largely been neglected. While contract farming is seen to be beneficial for the farmers who engage in it, the implications of ignoring one gender are dire and can lead to severe consequences like food insecurity in a country. This study seeks to make a connection between the complex interplay between food production and gender and how women are continually being kept out of modern supply chain systems like contract farming and suffering food insecurity in the process. This paper follows up on a gendered value chain analysis commonly done in the Global South Countries.  



Valens Mphezu (Malawi)

Women Agri-Entrepreneurs in Malawi: Improving the Livelihoods of Rural Women

In Malawi, almost 92% of female-headed households live in rural areas and depend on subsistence agriculture for their daily livelihood. This proposal is for a project which aims to transform the livelihood of female-headed households in Chipande EPA in Blantyre District, Malawi, from living in ultra-poverty to having sustainable incomes and ensuring achievement of food security in their households. This is achieved by improved agricultural production, access to markets, and improved household intra-relationships. The goal is to economically empower 1,000 female-headed households through a range of activities, such as improved agricultural practices, use of new technologies, provision of inputs and development of agri-entrepreneur knowledge and skills. Further, actions will be taken to enhance access to markets, to include the construction of community market shelters, the establishment of a community-based transport system, and the formalization of farmer-buyer contracts. Improved household intra-relationships are essential for the project, as is a collaboration between household members to achieve the common goals and address gender imbalances. Household gender relations will be improved through the implementation of a household approach.



Yagah Nakoja Batu (Ghana)

Female Farmers’ Access to Agricultural Information – Proposal for a PhD Research Project

In Ghana, female farmers have unequal access to agricultural information. This has not been given due recognition, despite the fact that female farmers dominate agriculture. Currently, it is not known how different categories of female farmers in Ghana access agricultural information and the challenges they encounter. It will be difficult to really prove how beneficial gender equality projects are. This proposed PhD research, therefore, aims to fill this gap in the literature by investigating whether widowed and married female farmers in the Pru District of Ghana have equal access to agricultural information or whether there are differences in this regard. It is important to note that removing inequalities between women increases their collective power to bridge the existing inequalities between women and men. The proposed research will employ a mixed method approach to research by using both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the identified research problem.