The DARE award was created by York University to help provide opportunities for experience and learning for undergraduate students by participating in research projects with York faculty members. At the Harriet Tubman Institute, two students, Ian Hood and Aibakyt Baekova have received awards under the DARE program to assist in the Boko Haram, Islamic Protest and National Security, and Conjugal Slavery in War (CSiW) research partnership projects, both addressing important social consequences of violence in historic and current African contexts.
Aibakyt is an undergraduate student in the Global Political Studies program who has a wide spectrum of interests in human rights, environment and international relations and previous experience of working in East Africa. The Conjugal Slavery in War project is a great opportunity for Aiba to challenge the traditional understanding of masculinity and sexual violence in conflicts and to examine the effectiveness of existing justice mechanisms. She will also contribute to the CSiW project with the secondary desk research, maintenance of the achieves and Mendeley database as well as with the transcription of testimonies of men abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Aiba’s efforts will help to fill the gap in knowledge on men’s experiences of war.
“There are a few things I love about my research assistantship. First of all, I love that my DARE project examines conflicts in the African context, including the conflicts in Northern Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Secondly, this project gave me access to valuable first-hand research, which allowed me to see the war as an insider and truly challenged my preexisting understanding of this conflict. I also benefited a lot from interactions with my supervisor, Ph.D., and postdoctoral students.”