Ms Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International is today (October 19) set to be awarded an honorary degree by University of Manchester as part of its Foundation Day celebrations.
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According to the university’s official website, Ms Byanyima, who is also an alumna of the University, will use the occasion of the ceremony to give a Foundation Lecture entitled ‘Advancing Women’s Rights in an Unequal World: A personal perspective’, in which she’ll outline some of the experiences of her unique career in politics and international development.
She will also receive an honorary doctorate alongside Lord David Alliance, Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Mr Anil Ruia and Sir Norman Stoller as the University celebrates the anniversary of the bringing together of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 2004, to form The University of Manchester.
She’s a wife to former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye leads Oxfam International, a confederation of 19 organisations working in more than 90 countries, empowering people to create a future that is secure, just, and free from poverty. She led Uganda’s first parliamentary women’s caucus which championed ground-breaking gender equality provisions in the country’s 1995 post-conflict constitution.
A signatory to Uganda’s 1985 peace agreement, Ms Byanyima has helped to broker and support women’s participation in political transitions in Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and other countries emerging from conflict.
She has a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering from Manchester and returned to campus earlier this year to launch the University’s Global Development Institute, Europe’s largest research and teaching institute dedicated to international development.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “I am delighted that at this year’s Foundation Day celebrations we are welcoming back an alumna, Ms Winnie Byanyima, to deliver our most prestigious lecture and to award her an honorary doctorate.
“Winnie’s drive to promote the roles of women and work to address global inequalities fully align with the University’s own activities. It is also an honour to be able to recognise the great contributions to society made by Lord David Alliance, Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Mr Anil Ruia and Sir Norman Stoller with the conferment of their honorary doctorates,” Prof Rothwell said.
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