WOMEN RISE: A Journey of Empowerment during and after COVID-19

March 8, 2023


Lynette Kamau

Advocacy Project Manager


The Women RISE Initiative hosted the Inception meeting on 24 – 26 January 2023. The event marked the beginning of a project with the potential of greatly influence the lives of women across five continents. The event provided thought-provoking discussions and networking opportunities. The APHRC-led Women RISE Health Policy and Research Organization workshop focused on increasing the capacity of the 23 research teams under the initiative drawn from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America.

In the spirit of knowledge and expertise sharing, participants had the opportunity to interrogate research methodologies, policy engagement and communications strategies, and gender transformative programming, among other topics.

During the opening ceremony, APHRC’s Executive Director recognized the great potential the researchers have to create partnerships that would be great vehicles in pursuit of global social change.

“We must shift the balance of who creates global solutions. This Initiative will demonstrate how to leverage South to South, North to South, and South to North relationships to provide global solutions, particularly for women’s COVID-19 recovery,” said Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director of APHRC, at the event’s start.

This message resonated with the participants echoing it with a resounding slogan, “Nothing about us, without us, is for us”.

IDRC representative during the meeting senior program specialist Montasser Kamal termed the three days as an opportunity for the research teams to exchange knowledge and experience while learning more about the project. On recorded statements. IDRC partner organizations, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) emphasized the need to invest in women who play a huge part in health provision.

The Women RISE Initiative is important because it has the potential to realize the vision for long-term, sustainable solutions for women’s well-being during and after the Covid 19 pandemic. This is because it focuses on the intersections between a woman’s health and a woman’s worth, said SSHRC’s Director of Research Partnership Portfolio, Eric Bastien.

While the agencies funding this initiative are based in Canada, our interests and our collective vision are global and go beyond our borders. The factors that shape our health are inherently global. The health of people everywhere affects the health of Canadians and the health of Canadians impact the health of people everywhere, CIHR’s Associate Vice President of Research Learning Health Systems, Rhonda Kropp reinforced the importance of collaboration in global health research.