The new Dean of the School of Women and Gender Studies, Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire, has implored staff to work as a team to advance the discipline of Gender Studies. During the handover ceremony held yesterday, 3rd February, 2015, in the School Conference Hall, Dr Ahikire said the unique position of the School presents an opportunity to make it a better structure of great influence in the University and region. “We should work towards growing together and this will only be achieved through teamwork, intensified research and high quality publications. Nobody is a Saint until death. We should act human to build the School to greater heights,” she said. She encouraged staff to actively participate and take the lead in the service to the Women’s Movement. Dr Ahikire applauded the outgoing Dean, Dr Consolata Kabonesa, for her diligent service during her tenure and selfless contribution to the development of the School of Women and Gender Studies.
Dr Ahikire takes on from Dr Kabonesa who has held the position for six years; first as Head of Department and Dean. Dr Ahikire will serve as Dean for the next four years.
Dr. Ahikire is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies and the Executive Chair, Centre for Basic Research (CBR), a leading research centre in Kampala which has over the years conducted cutting edge research and nurtured many intellectuals in Uganda and beyond. She has over the years worked in the area of feminist political theory and has extensively published works on women and politics, labour and urban culture. She has led various research teams on gender and land, elections, women and parliamentary performance, gender and the politics of Access and many other areas connected with livelihood and social justice. Her recent publication is a book entitled: Localised or Localising Democracy: Gender and the Politics of Decentralisation in Contemporary Uganda, published by Fountain Publishers Kampala, Uganda. She is an active member of the Uganda Women’s Movement and is also member of regional bodies such as Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and African Gender Institute (AGI) University of Cape Town.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, thanked Dr Kabonesa for her efforts in elevating the profile of the School. He commended Dr Kabonesa for the various projects attained by the School during her tenure. He also thanked the new Dean, Dr Ahikire, for accepting to take on the responsibility for the next four years. He advised the new Dean to nurture members of staff in the School to be able to take on responsibility at different levels in and outside the University. He called upon staff to support Dr Ahikire to develop the School further.
In her remarks, the outgoing Dean, Dr Consolata Kabonesa, expressed gratitude to the Principal, Dean School of Social Sciences, staff and the entire management of CHUSS for the support rendered to her, saying she had come out a better person with a wealth of experience. She pledged continued support to the new Dean.
During Dr Kabonesa’s tenure, the School registered the following achievements;
- The former Department of Women and Gender Studies was elevated to a School status
- The School has successful collaborations with various universities including institutions of higher learning from the USA, Nordic Countries, Africa and Europe
- The School held an international conference from 5th-7th November, 2014 under the theme “Africa 2015 and Beyond, the Future of Gender Studies, Research and Service”. One of the outcomes of the conference is that teams were formed to carry the work forward
- The School hosted a short course on the “Politics of Women’s Body” that was attended by students from Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia and Finland
- The School handled more than seven projects including APPEAR and CISCO
- It also registered a number of international students from Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, USA and Finland on its PhD and Masters programmes
- The School also held a number of dialogues and seminars on several issues including domestic violence, Marriage and Divorce Bill, IDPs and Constitutionalism
- The School has also established networks with the Civil Society to advance the cause of Gender Studies
The ceremony was witnessed by the Manager in Charge of Appointments in the Directorate of Human Resources, Mr. Mujuni Julius, and members of staff in the School of Women and Gender Studies.