Rita Schäfer receives Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award 2010

„Frauen und Kriege in Afrika“ ("Women and Wars in Africa") will be granted PRIF's Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award 2010 as best book in peace research published in 2008/2009.

In her book "Frauen und Kriege in Afrika – ein Beitrag zur Genderforschung" ("Women and Wars in Africa - A Contribution to Gender Research", 2008) ethnologist Dr. Rita Schäfer studies women in violent conflicts in different geographical regions in Africa from a gender perspective.


The award’s jury (Prof. Dr. Eva Senghaas-Knobloch (University of Bremen), Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner (German Development Institute) and Prof. Dr. Harald Müller (chairman of the jury and director at PRIF) assesses Schäfer's work to be "of innovative academic quality"; the books is also characterized by her deep commitment to the people in Africa," the jury explains.

The book will be granted the Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award 2010 during PRIF's annual conference on 22nd October as best monograph in peace research published during the previous two years.


Rita Schäfer’s book comprises 15 studies on violent conflicts in all regions of Africa. These studies analyze the colonial-historical context (with the exception of Ethiopia) and they decipher the impact of colonial rule on local gender relations, particularly with respect to the aggravated task for women of providing food under such conditions and the withholding of their civic and heritage rights. Through the gender dimension Rita Schäfer illuminates the entanglements of international, national and local factors in war and post-war situations; she leads us into the inner cultural layers of conflict-prone constellations in peripheral countries forced to modernize in the face of asymmetrical international power relations. Schäfer’s book contains theoretically inspired as well as dense historical-empirical studies in the context of fragile or failed statehood. The findings are eminently relevant for any intervening practice, be it governmental or nongovernmental, national or international.


Dr. Schäfer was born in Paderborn in 1965. She studied ethnology, sociology and geography at the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. She accomplished her doctorate on the topic of women’s organizations and development cooperation. The dissertation was awarded the Carl Theodor Kromer Award of the University of Freiburg in 1994.


Rita Schäfer carried out field research in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa and worked for the GTZ (German Organisation in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development) as a consultant on the chances for successful development and cooperation with local women’s rights organizations. During the last ten years, she has visited South Africa again and again to conduct research on gender-specific violence and women’s rights organizations. She also served as resource person and consultant for the Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED), for Inwent and for Brot für Welt.


Rita Schäfer lectured at Freiburg, Trier, Mainz, Göttingen, Bochum, Marburg, Berlin and Bern. Her broad spectrum of expertise is testified by her appointment as guest professor at the Agricultural Faculty/Gender Studies at the Humboldt-University of Berlin as well as at the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Göttingen.


The Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award is given to the best book published by a researcher not older than 45 years following her/his dissertation. The book has to be published within the two previous years; the awarded is granted every two years. The Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award is endowed with 5,000 Euros. It therefore is one of the highest remunerated scientific awards in peace research in Germany. The award was established in 2007 and is named after PRIF’s co-founder Prof. Dr. Ernst-Otto Czempiel.


The award ceremony will take on 22nd October 2010 at 6 pm.

Peace Research Institute Frankfurt

Baseler Straße 27-31

60329 Frankfurt, Germany

Media representatives are cordially invited to join both the award ceremony as well as PRIF’s annual conference. We kindly ask you to register until Thursday, 21st October if you would like to attend: Heide Rinnert.



Babette Knauer

Press and Public Relations

Tel.: +49 69 959 104-13