Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of Oxfam International and wife of former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye is set to be awarded an honorary degree by the University of Manchester on Wednesday 19 October.
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.
The Ugandan-born Byanyima 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 her country’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.