ZEF Gender Group receives Bonn University's Maria von Linden Prize

April 26, 2024.  

Bonn University awarded several prizes for research and activities dedicated to gender issues at the University's premises on Friday, April 26, 2024. 

Among them were the members of the ZEF Gender Group who received, besides honors and a certificate, Prize Money as well.

In the photo from left to right: Purti Sadhwani, Dennis Aviles (online per tablet), Sundus Saleemi, Tina Beuchelt and Eva Youkhana

Press Release by the University of Bonn


Laudatory speech

ZEF senior researcher Dr. Eva Youkhana gave the laudatory speech in which she highlighted the Gender Group's activities such as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 2023 and the event about Arab Feminism and Politics on World Women's Day on March 8, 2024. She then raised the issue that women (and children) are always suffering most from armed conflicts and war on the globe, especially in Ukraine, Sudan and Gaza. 

Excerpt from Dr. Youkhana's laudatory speech:

According to UN Women estimates, 69% of the total of 4.8 million displaced persons in Sudan are women. They suffer from extremely insecure conditions, water and food shortages, a lack of health facilities and medical care, as well as sexual assault and rape, both in the war zones and in the emergency shelters. 

UN Women also reported in February 2024 that women, children, and female-headed households in Ukraine are among the most vulnerable populations, as they often lack resources and coping mechanisms, face barriers to accessing services, and are more exposed to protection risks, including gender-based violence. 

According to UN Women estimates by the end of March 2024 at least 33,000 Palestinians have been murdered by the war, including 10,000 women, 6,000 mothers and 12,000 children. Over 75,000 people have been injured, most of them women and children. Almost 1 million women and children have been displaced (a total of 75% of Gaza's population). Of the calculated 6,500 persons missing under the rubble, 4,400 are children. An estimated 50,000 women in Gaza are pregnant and 19,000 children were orphaned by the end of March 2024. 

However, it is not only these figures directly related to life and limb that are worrying, but also all the destruction of educational institutions, and infrastructure, schools, libraries, museums, the killing of students, teachers, professors and so on associated with these wars, which deprive the future generations of their right and access to education as mentioned in SDG 4. 

But also our own educational institutions, although their infrastructures still exist, are increasingly under pressure as critical (female) voices against war and for peace are being marginalized and thus silenced. But was this not exactly the point Maria von Linden, who gave her name to this prize, made: that she wanted to be heard? Maria von Linden was the first woman with a doctorate in natural sciences in Germany, the first female professor at a German university, in Bonn. Her name stands for the fight for the right to education for women and girls, to a proper university education. This was only made possible in Germany after fierce battles at the turn of the last century. 

With their gender-sensitive research, ranging from feminist urbanism, refugee studies, female headed rural household studies, resistance and resilience of Trans and Queer people, their courageous critical presentations and contributions to journal articles and blogs, we thank our colleagues and doctoral students at ZEF, our colleagues at the university, and in civil society and in politics. Without their collaboration such a group based on voluntary work would not be possible.       

Finally, I would like to emphasize that our work here at the University of Bonn would not have been possible without the continuous support of the ZEF's management and, of course, the strong commitment of all its members. I would like to thank them on behalf of my colleagues and recipients of this important award.

The ZEF Gender Group is very honored to have received this prize!


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