Farhana Rahman named winner of prestigious women’s award

Farhana Rahman selected by ICRW for Paula Kantor Award by the International Council for Research on Women. Photo: courtesy ICRW

The International Center for Research on Women, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., announced it has selected Farhana Rahman, Ph.D., as this year’s winner of the Paula Kantor Award.

Rahman, who is of Bangladeshi origin, is currently a fellow at the Harvard University Asia Center and the co-founder of  Silkpath Relief Organization (silkpathrelief.org), a March 13, 2021, press release from ICRW said.

The award was created to honor Paula Kantor, a former ICRW researcher who was killed on May 13, 2015 while working in Afghanistan.

The award recognizes Kantor’s two decades of work which was largely driven by her passion to improve lives in the global south, especially those of women and girls. She was a leading expert on gender issues in international development.

Rahman completed her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, Centre for Gender Studies. She also works as a consultant providing technical expertise and trainings for international projects with organizations such as UN Women, UNDP, USAID and others.

Originally from Bangladesh, Dr. Rahman holds extensive experience researching the gendered effects of forced migration, gender-based violence in (post-)conflict situations, and the innovative coping mechanisms employed by marginalized women as a means of self-empowerment, the press release said.

Her research investigates the implications of humanitarian aid agencies’ development programming in the midst of humanitarian crises, focusing on and critiquing these agencies’ gender equality programming in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

“By highlighting the voices of refugees themselves, Dr. Rahman’s work helps push against a dominant characterization of refugees as “helpless” and lacking agency,” the ICRW said, adding, “It uncovers underlying reasons behind misguided international efforts and highlights the creative capacity of refugees to bring about changes in their own lives.”




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