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The Changemakers Programme aims to empower advocates and activists dedicated to advancing gender equality by providing tailored support for research projects tied to their work or local communities. This initiative recognises the pivotal role of grassroots movements in fostering genuine societal change and endeavours to bridge the gap between academic research and real-world impact. We are looking to partner with gender equality movements and leaders from across the world because we know that their unique expertise and experience is the key to addressing complex inequalities. This non-residential, fully funded programme spans over one year, working flexibility and collaboratively to adjust to the priorities and requirements of the Changemakers.

We envisage that each Changemaker working with GIWL would benefit from:

  • Time out from usual activities to work on research
  • Tailored financial support to ensure participation – this could cover anything that makes the programme more accessible, ranging from childcare costs to providing backfill to cover costs for the employer
  • 1:1 time working in a reciprocal relationship with a researcher from GIWL. The researcher will provide guidance in building robust research skills and carrying out the project, and learn from the changemaker about their mission, goals and the change they want to make happen
  • The opportunity to spend time in London embedded within the GIWL team with all travel and accommodation costs covered
  • Introductions to GIWL’s networks including global leaders in the fields of academia, politics, business and the third sector
  • Support to build an Impact Plan to communicate and disseminate research
  • Access to GIWL’s platforms to raise awareness and help translate research into action
  • Opportunities to contribute to the intellectual life of King’s and gain exposure to different perspectives by engaging with wider King’s community 

Our First Changemaker – Domtila Chesang

Domtila Chesang, an esteemed activist and advocate from West Pokot,  Kenya focused on combating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), is our first Changemaker, in collaboration with The Five Foundation and funded by Firebird Foundation

Domtila Chesang with children

Domtila Chesang's project focuses on researching the persistence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) within the Pokot community in Kenya, as despite extensive efforts to eradicate this harmful practice, it remains prevalent, necessitating an in-depth exploration of the cultural beliefs and social dynamics that sustain it.

Domtila Chesang with children

Through qualitative methods including focus group discussions and interviews with community members, the study seeks to examine the underlying reasons behind the continued practice of FGM and identify strategies to combat it effectively. 

Domtila Chesang in a classroom with children

By engaging with local stakeholders and enhancing information literacy at the grassroots level, the project aims to generate data-driven insights to inform targeted interventions and contribute to the broader mission of advancing gender equality.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigator