The Ultimate Sacrifice
Category : Updates
The AwF Women’s Network decided to break with the regular Woman of the Month Award for June and dedicate the June 2015 award to Paula Kantor, someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice in her untiring efforts with WorldFish on the gender transformative approach and specifically through work in Bangladesh and Zambia.
We appreciate the link with aquaculture is somewhat tenuous but our Network was greatly saddened to read about Paula’s death on May 13, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the hotel where she was staying in Kabul, Afghanistan. Authorities said she was staying at the Park Palace Hotel when it was stormed by Taliban gunmen, sparking a siege that left 14 people, including nine foreigners, dead.
We therefore announce this special posthumous award in lieu of Woman of the Month.
We learned from articles at Worldfish and Huffington Post about the great work of such a well-respected lady who worked all over the world and specialised in gender and development issues. Ms Kantor was back in Kabul to work on a project involving wheat production with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. Our sincere condolences go out to her family, friends and colleagues.
We share the words of Stephen Hall, Director General, WorldFish: “Paula’s clear vision was a great driver for the gender transformative approach that remains a key pillar in Worldfish’s work. Her commitment to improving the livelihoods of women in some of the world’s most impoverished regions will be her legacy. Paula’s passing is a loss to the whole development community.”
Ms Kantor was a well-published, established and respected scientist. Among many noteworthy achievements, she mentored an international non-governmental organization in its efforts to deliver gender programming to women fish retailers in Egypt. Paula was initially based in Kabul in 2008-10, working as director and manager of the gender and livelihoods research portfolios at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), an independent research agency. From 2010 to 2012, Paula was engaged at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in Washington, D.C., developing intervention research programs in the area of gender and rural livelihoods, including a focus on gender and agricultural value chains.
We were so pleased to engage in the ‘Women in Aquaculture & Fisheries’ Session at World Aquaculture 2015 in Jeju, Korea at the end of last month where we took part in a special activity relating to the three winners of the WAS-APC & AwF Travel Grant and were able to congratulate in person four of the special women who had been given our ‘Woman of the Month’ award. The session was extremely interesting and will be the subject of a blog soon to be on our website.