One million dollars awarded for a Women’s Empowerment Project in South Africa

Dr. Kathleen Rice has been awarded almost one million dollars in research funding by the International Development Research Centre and Canadian Institutes of Health Research through the Women RISE funding competition for a project entitled Ukuvula Isango: Women's Empowerment and Post-Pandemic Reconstruction in Rural South Africa. The award is held in collaboration with Dr. Leslie Bank at the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Vuyokazi ('Nelly') Sharpley at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, and Mr. Ian Assam, Deputy Chair of the Statistics Council for the Government of South Africa and core member of the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council.

The project will use a ‘people's science' approach to address key issues related to the precarity of women in rural parts of the Eastern Cape Province during the COVID pandemic as a starting point for post-COVID rebuilding. It seeks to document and examine women’s lives before and during COVID to identify trends and triggers that elevate or depreciate livelihoods and health statuses. The project will use this research to explore a series of strategies and actions to enhance prevention for both the health and livelihood spheres, with particular focus on analyzing dependencies on the state and biomedical model. The project will also delve into locally sustained approaches and strategies so that future external shocks and crises, such as the pandemic, might be better managed by and for women.

Congratulations Dr. Kathleen Rice!


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