Sahiyo programs intern Cate Cox won a scholarship via The Passionate Leaders Project (PLP) that supports undergraduate students at Simmons University. Cate is currently studying International Relations, Economics, and Arabic. While working at Sahiyo she has helped to organize many dynamic webinars, including Moving Towards Sexual Pleasure and Emotional Healing After FGC, Art, Activism, and Healing: In Conversation Around FGC, and Everyone’s Responsibility: Discussing the Role Male Allies Play in Preventing FGC.
Cate’s project, titled “The Silent Pandemic: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence in the United States,” combines work experience, research, and event planning to advance our understanding of how COVID-19 has exacerbated or reconstructed violence against women in the U.S. She is working on this project during her internship with Sahiyo: United Against Female Genital Cutting, and by writing a research paper on this topic, and organizing a webinar/seminar with key academics in this field.
“Working at Sahiyo was a big part of my inspiration for this project,” Cate said. “I started my internship in August and got to see firsthand how the organization was having to shift its programming from in-person to virtual due to COVID-19. This inspired me to think about how the field of gender-based violence prevention as a whole was having to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19. How have domestic abuse shelters had to adapt? How have lobbying organizations fighting for women’s rights had to adapt? And overall, how has violence against women itself been reconstructed or exacerbated due to COVID-19?”
The Passionate Leaders Project (PLP) supports undergraduate students seeking to enrich their academic and professional interests by funding learning opportunities beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Students receive funding through the PLP to fund a variety of activities, including, but not limited to global experiences, research, internships, service projects, and creative endeavors. A competitive research opportunity, only around 10 undergraduate students are chosen every semester to receive this funding and support.