National award highlights excellent scientific research in humanities at UP

Posted on August 28, 2015

Professor Antoinette Lombard, Head of the Department of Social Work and Criminology in UP’s Faculty of Humanities, received national recognition for her contribution to scientific research in August 2015. She was selected as the second runner up in the category Humanities and Social Sciences for the Distinguished Women in Science Award (WISA) by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) initiated the South African Women in Science Awards in 2003 to recognise the achievements of women scientists and provide motivation for the increased participation of women scientists in research. The theme for the 2015 South African WISA was ‘Science for a sustainable future’. This theme looked at the contribution made by the women researchers towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as the MDGs conclude at the end of 2015.

Prof Lombard, a C2 NRF-rated researcher since 2010, focuses her research on social and economic development, and inclusion through a human rights lens. Her research contributes to the achievement of the MDGs by linking social and economic development strategies and interventions to reduce poverty and inequality among vulnerable people – in particular women and children – in a broader community context.

Her research contributes to debate and development of anti-poverty strategies and interventions in creating opportunities for women to secure household income that facilitates food security and access to education, health facilities and shelter. She also studies the structural injustices that underpin the adversities of women and children, their right to social protection, and their right to development and social and economic inclusion. She has a particular research interest in how social work, social enterprises and entrepreneurship interact to affect poverty and inequality.

In 2013, Prof Lombard received the James Billups International Consortium for Social Development Leadership Award. She boasts more than 50 publications, including journal articles, six book chapters, and a book on community development, and has presented 41 international conference papers. Ten doctoral and 46 master’s students have completed their postgraduate studies under her leadership. She is also the International Association for Schools of Social Work’s (IASSW) chair of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development, representing schools of social work on international and regional level.

Prof Lombard is very thankful for being nominated and selected as finalist for the award. The Faculty of Humanities Dean, Prof Vasu Reddy, says that the nomination recognises Prof Lombard’s solid scholarly output in the context of science and development and confirms that the social sciences and humanities are being taken seriously.

The awards are hosted by the Minister of Science and Technology in August every year, as the Department’s contribution to celebrate the National Women’s Month. The awards are part of the DST’s efforts to increase the number of women scientists and researchers in the country, to increase women’s access to research professions, and to profile successful scientists and researchers as role models for younger women and girls.

View the video clip made of Prof Lombard for the Distinguished Women Scientists Awards (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZIc85Sy5jc)

 

- Author Petronel Fourie

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