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Cameron Schrier Equality Fellowship Programme

The Cameron Schrier Equality Fellowship is a fellowship programme targeted at experienced activists from civil society, senior government officials, and business leaders from across the global South. The goal of the fellowship is to develop and advance links between academia, activism, and policymaking across the global South, deepening new areas of research and writing on inequality in order to explore the links between theory and practice. The fellowship is funded by a grant from the Cameron Schrier Foundation.

Cameron Schrier Equality Fellows receive resources, space, and time to reflect on their work, engage with the broader SCIS academic community and produce a specific research output related to their area of focus. Thereafter, the Cameron Schrier Equality Fellows will return to the front lines of activist work.

Fellows spend six months in residence at the SCIS in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they are offered the opportunity to immerse themselves in the intellectual life of the SCIS and the University of the Witwatersrand.  In 2020/21, the SCIS hosted the first cohort of Equality Fellows. 

Profiles of 2023/2024 Equality Fellows

Dr Dev Nathan 

Dev Nathan is an economist working on the question of the enclosure or monopolization of knowledge and the creation of inequality, including global and gender inequality. His (co-authored) book Reverse Subsidies in Global Monopsony Capitalism: Labour, Gender and Environmental Injustice in Garment Value Chains (2022),  identified low wages, early expulsion of women from the factory workforce and low payment for environmental services and related environmental damage, as a form of reverse subsidy – extracted at the points of production in the Global South, but captured, through the mechanism of global monopsony, by lead/headquarter firms in the Global North. Combining research with advocacy, he co-authored the book Witch Hunts: Culture, Patriarchy and Social Transformation  (2020) and became a co-convenor of the International Alliance to End Witch Hunts. He expects that his work at SCIS on Knowledge and Global Inequality will bring a neglected, dimension into the discussion on global, intra-national and gender inequality – the role of the enclosure or monopolization of knowledge and the differential social valuation of different domains of knowledge.

Ufrieda Ho

Ufrieda Ho is a Johannesburg-based journalist. She reports and writes on a broad range of issues including public health, climate change, the environment, and society. She is a fellow of the ALI (African Leadership Initiative) Bloomberg Media Initiative and is a recipient of the Anthony Sampson Foundation Award for Journalism. She is the author of Paper Sons and Daughters, (Pan Macmillan, 2011) - a memoir of growing up Chinese under apartheid.  The book touches on the themes of migration, xenophobia, identity and belonging. Ufrieda studied journalism at Tshwane University of Pretoria (Pretoria Technikon) and holds a BA (Hons) in Anthropology from Wits University. For Ufrieda, the Cameron Schrier Fellowship represents an opportunity to explore and deepen interdisciplinary approaches to bolster journalism and to reflect critically on where media stands in building stronger modern democracies.

Profiles of Past Equality Fellows

Dr Semiha Ari

Semiha Arı is a feminist activist and researcher from Istanbul, Turkey. She has a BA in Political Science and Public Administration and MA in International Relations. The dissertation of her PhD study in Sociology (Anadolu University, Turkey), critically examines the current trends in women’s movement and organizing, focusing specifically on the impact of the escalating social and political conflicts in the Kurdish cities of Turkey. Her research interests include feminist/women’s social movements, women’s organizations, and women’s labor. In her studies on women’s labor, she has called into question the neoliberal turn as it manifests itself in microcredit programs and NGO-led development projects and elaborates on how NGOization has expanded the informal economy and accelerated fragmentation in the solidarity networks of women’s movement. Her writings regarding these issues have been published in various feminist journals and websites. She has also worked for a number of women’s organizations for many years, such as Women’s Labor and Employment Initiative Platform (KEIG). She is the former general coordinator of KEIG. In KEIG she has also contributed to various research projects and been a (co-)writer of publications the organization has made. Examples of their thematic focus can be listed to cover women’s cooperatives, unpaid work, economic crisis, and workplace conditions. Currently she is continuing with her research and works as an independent feminist activist. 

Siyabonga (Siya) Myeza

Siya Myeza was born and grew up in the rural parts of Richards Bay, KwesakwaMthethwa. He completed his undergrad in Nature Conservation at Mangosuthu University of Technology in 2010. He practiced his passion for conservation and natural resource management at Tembe Elephant Park, Drakensberg World Heritage Site, and iSimangaliso Wetland Park with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, when he also completed his B Tech in 2013. Other passions that were inspired by being in nature were justice and sustainability. In pursuit of deepening his understating, in 2014 he relocated to Nieuwoudtville, a small village in the Northern Cape joining the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG). Siya spent 4.5 years working with Suid Bokkeveld’s rooibos small-scale farmers on Sustainable Land Management, Climate Change adaptation and agroecology. This deepened his appreciation for nature and the heart of marginalized communities. Currently, still with EMG, Siya works with marginalized communities in Cape Town around environment and social justice, particularly water and climate change nexus. Within this broad context of urban water Siya is mainly interested in understanding the gendered access to water and the effects of climate change. 

Dinga Sikwebu

Dinga Sikwebu has been an activist since 1976 when he took part in the student uprising which engulfed South Africa for eight months. Since 1980, he has worked as a trade unionist, first joining a British multinational corporation, Metal Box. He has been associated with the labour movement as a member, shop-floor activist, researcher, educator, campaigner, and official. In 1995 he joined the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, where until recently he was head of the union’s education department. He now leads the union’s project “Regaining Workplace Power”, which is located in Numsa’s research department. Dinga is interested in the role that the labour movement can play in the fight against inequality, particularly the role that retirement trustees can play in shareholder activism and in dealing with inequality. 

Zeenat Sujee 

Zeenat Sujee is an attorney and is currently employed as a law researcher at the Constitutional Court. She completed her LLB at Wits University and thereafter began her legal career at a civil society organisation. She served her articles of clerkship at the Legal Resources Centre, where she continued to practice as an attorney for 3 years.   

Thereafter, Zeenat joined the Centre for Applied Legal Studies where she litigated in the spheres of the right of access to housing, access to water, sanitation and electricity and the right to health. She has also done work relating to gender issues which include the adverse impacts of the lack of adequate housing and sanitation on women and girl learners in schools.   

In 2018, she left practice to explore different opportunities. Zeenat consulted for the South African Human Rights Commission working on civil and political rights. She has been afforded an opportunity to conduct research for the RAITH Foundation on Transformation of the Civil Society Sector. She is currently working as an attorney at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute, working on housing and political rights matters.  In 2019, Zeenat completed her LLM by dissertation, entitled “Towards a Feminist Approach for Housing Cases”.  

Sohini Shoaib

Sohini Shoaib is a queer feminist activist working for nearly a decade in the flood ravaged Kosi-Seemanchal area of Bihar, one of the poorest states in the east of India. As part of a union of informal workers, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (JJSS), Shoaib works with landless labourers, marginal farmers, rural youth and other oppressed communities to help mobilise and unionise under people’s leadership, for people’s rights – whether they be those of land, labour, caste annihilation and gender justice, to address gaps in governance or violence by the State. Furthermore, Shoaib is a part of larger movements and campaigns around the right to work, food sovereignty, social security and health, transparency and accountability in governments, democratic rights and for queer and feminist interventions in the country.