Binta is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Marieme Lo, and Chair of the WGSI Graduate Student Union which has done amazing work this past year. Binta is also being specially recognised in African Studies for her amazing work mentoring African Studies and Black undergraduate students.
Born and raised in The Gambia, Binta Bajaha graduated on the Dean’s List at the University of Western Ontario with a BA degree and Double Major in History and Global Studies. She holds a MSc in Gender, Development and Globalization from London School of Economics and Politics (LSE ) and is currently pursuing a PhD at WGSI under the supervision of Prof. Marieme Lo. Binta’s scholarship focuses on climate change adaptation, resilience and vulnerabilities drawing upon a critical feminist and intersectional lens and focusing on the Sahel region in sub-Saharan Africa.
In her first year at WGSI, Binta has led the Graduate Student Union as its Chair, revitalizing the GSU and acting as a bridge between graduate students and the Institute’s faculty and administration. Working diligently alongside her colleagues, Binta has invested her talent and energy in laying a strong institutional foundation so present and future cohorts of WGSI can thrive in a transformational, productive, supportive and memorable feminist space.
Overseeing and planning the inaugural WGSI GSU Speaker Series, as well as what was to be the first WGSI Graduate Student Conference before the COVID-19 confinement, Binta’s tenacity in overcoming challenges, in the most inclusive and innovative ways, has proven the bedrock of her leadership qualities and talents. Alongside her Chair leadership, Teaching Assistant responsibilities as well as brilliantly completing her entire coursework load in her first year, Binta was able to maintain stellar academic records, showcasing an innate ability to efficiently balance competing priorities to demonstrate outstanding community citizenship and leadership. Her student leadership role extends her professional leadership at an early stage of her career in gender justice with UN Women in New York and World Food Programme in Rome. Her last position before starting her doctoral program consisted of heading the Gender Unit in the World Food Programme’s $250 million yearly emergency response to the Rohingya refugee crises in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Leading gender-transformative programmatic interventions in ensuring Rohingya women, men, boys and girls have their needs met in a dignified manner, Binta worked using an inter-agency approach to create resilience and livelihood projects for women and adolescent girls that are at risk of gender-based violence within the refugee camps.