Swansea University graduate Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi has been named the Global Winner in the Social Action category of this year’s esteemed British Council’s Study UK Alumni Awards.
The award recognises international graduates of UK universities who have made exceptional contributions and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.
Oluwaseun has received the award for her work championing the enforcement of legal instruments to end sexual and gender-based violence against Nigerian women and girls, leading educational initiatives that equip them to fight inequality in their daily lives, working with communities to generate homegrown solutions to achieving gender equality, and providing survivors with holistic support services.
Oluwaseun has also been recognised for her incredible work in the BBC’s Emmy-nominated #SexforGrades exposé into sexual harassment in tertiary institutions and her involvement in feminist mobilisation across the continent.
Through her organisation, Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER), she is developing and deploying effective programmes to challenge systemic social barriers that promote violence.
Since being formed in 2014, STER has empowered 200,000 citizens to become more aware of their rights to fight against inequalities and violence in their daily lives.
On what the award means to her, Oluwaseun said: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award. It is a true testament to the dedication and hard work I’ve put into contributing to achieving human rights and building an equitable society for women and girls.
“Most importantly, it’s a recognition of our work at STER, fostering policy reform and sustainable solutions that promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 5 and 16: Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.“
Studying at Swansea University marked a turning point for Oluwaseun, with an MA in International Relations allowing her to hone skills in policy formulation, strategic thinking, and advocacy strategies.
Oluwaseun said: “My time at Swansea has been pivotal in shaping my journey, with my course broadening my understanding of power and violence, with inequality as the root cause of violence and power negotiation.
“The university’s exceptional academic environment, combined with its emphasis on practical learning and collaboration, provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that are incredibly relevant to my everyday work.
“I’m deeply grateful for the education and continuous support I have received, empowering me to excel in my professional endeavours and helping me achieve deep social change in my country.”
Oluwaseun, who graduated in 2012, plans to continue leveraging her skills to facilitate capacity-building initiatives for national institutions on policy implementation, implement evidence-based programmes and scale STER’s reach.
Professor Judith Lamie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, said: “We are delighted the British Council has chosen to recognise Oluwaseun in the Study UK Alumni Awards.
“This award is a testament to Oluwaseun’s hard work and dedication to educating about and reducing gender-based violence.
“It is also an example of the profound impact of education, and we hope it inspires many more graduates in the future.”
Oluwaseun will join her fellow Global Alumni Award winners in the UK for a professional networking opportunity in early 2024.
Find out more about Oluwaseun’s remarkable journey.