A partnership to empower Namibian women

Five mid-career Namibian professionals are to win Fellowships to study how girls’ education can lead to female empowerment

The Phoenix Project has secured Centre Status for up to 5 Commonwealth Professional Fellowships which will allow the recipients to collaborate and develop new skills around girls’ education – the theme for this year’s awards.

The Phoenix Project is an award-winning partnership between Cardiff University in Wales (UK) and the University of Namibia.

The visiting Fellows will spend 3 months collaborating with researchers from the DECIPHer Research Centre, School of Social Sciences, which sits within Cardiff University’s Social Science Research Park.

Professor Judith Hall, Phoenix Project Lead, said: “We are delighted to secure Centre Status for this Commonwealth Fellowship development on the theme of ‘Girls Education: No-one left behind.’ No girl should ever be left behind others during her education.

“We will now be working with Dr John Nyambe, Associate Dean: School of Education, at the University of Namibia, the Ministry of Education, Arts & Culture and UNAM’s Department of Social Sciences to secure 5 driven and energetic applicants intent on pursing our goal: gender equality in education.”

“With teamwork and co-production, we feel certain that this Centre Status award will enable a direction of travel to meaningful impact when the fellows return to Namibia.”

The placements will reinforce the Namibian Government’s drive to reduce teenage pregnancies through greater female empowerment and education.

Welcoming the Fellowships, Dr Nyambe said “this is indeed excellent news, bringing a moment of hope for our girls’ education. UNAM embraces any opportunity that is intended to empower the girl child and enhances girls’ education.”

During their studies in 2022, Fellows will have access to a wide range of DECIPHer facilities including leadership training and reflective learning workshops.

The Fellowships are coordinated by Dr Honor Young and Dr Rhiannon Evans of DECIPHer with support from Professor Amanda Robinson, Professor EJ Renold and Dr Yulia Shenderovich.

Dr Young, Senior Lecturer, DECIPHer, said: “We are delighted to secure the Commonwealth Fellowships and are looking forward to collaborating and learning with colleagues at the University of Namibia, as we work towards our shared goal of gender equality in education.”

Dr Evans, Senior Lecturer, DECIPHer, added: “This is an exciting opportunity for DECIPHer and our ambitions for the Social Science Research Park. International collaboration is a vital part of our work and we hope this will be the start of a rich and impactful future relationship.”