Celebrating Impact

18 April 2018

Jars with messages in
Jars stuffed with messages detailing how AGENDA has made a difference to the young people, who are part of the We Are More group (WAM)

A researcher who has made a significant contribution to addressing gender inequality and promoting healthy relationships education has been shortlisted for a prestigious prize.

Professor Emma Renold of the University’s School of Social Sciences has been shortlisted in the category of Outstanding Impact on Society for the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize 2018.

Now in its sixth year, the prize is an opportunity to recognise and reward academics whose work has made a real difference to society or the economy through outstanding research, collaborative partnerships, engagement or knowledge exchange.

Throughout her career, Professor Renold has conducted extensive research into gender, sexuality and childhood and youth, using creative methods to both listen to and engage young people in change on sensitive and difficult issues.

In 2016, she launched AGENDA: A young people’s guide to making positive relationships matter. Co-created with more than 50 young people, AGENDA is an activism toolkit that aims to help young people raise awareness of gender and sexual violence in schools, online and in communities.

Since its launch, AGENDA has been endorsed and embedded into practice by key Welsh Government-funded organisations that deliver Sex and Relationships Education. In its first 12 months, AGENDA reached more than 3,000 people including young people, practitioners, youth workers, police liaison officers, teachers and academics.

The initiative was expanded in November 2017 and launched in the USA as part of the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl 2017 - 11 Days of Action.

Today, Professor Renold’s research and expertise continues to shape Wales’ vision for Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).

Professor Renold was Chair of the Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Education’s expert panel, ‘The future of the SRE curriculum in Wales’. In December 2017, the panel issued a report making recommendations for a major overhaul of sex and relationships education in Wales, reporting significant gaps between the lived experiences of children and young people and the SRE they receive in school.

Professor Renold was also actively involved in the creation of the Welsh Government’s #THISISME campaign which aims to challenge harmful gender stereotypes in order to address the cause and consequences of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Professor Renold said: “I am thoroughly delighted to be nominated for this award. It means so much to have collaborative feminist practices recognised and celebrated.

“The making and impact of the AGENDA resource is the outcome of extensive long-term partnerships, with schools, youth groups, third sector agencies, Welsh government and academics around the world.

“The purpose of this work is to tune into what it feels like for children and young people navigating a world of gendered and sexual norms and violence, giving them ways to communicate the issues that matter to them.”

The winners of the award will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Royal Society on 20 June.