Prof. Catherine Ward wins at the SA Women in Science Awards 2023

14 Sep 2023 | By CSSR Website
14 Sep 2023 | By CSSR Website

Congratulations to Prof. Catherine Ward, Director of the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) and the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) for being awarded the Distinguished Woman Researcher, Humanities and Social Sciences prize at the South African Women in Science Awards 2023 (SAWiSA) for her "outstanding contribution to building South Africa's scientific and research knowledge base".

SAWiSA is an annual event, hosted by the South African Department of Science and Innovation, that highlights the contributions of South African women researchers and scientists. This year the theme was “Harnessing technological change and innovation to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls”. Prof. Ward was honoured for her work on safety and violence prevention for children; and for promoting research integrity principles including supporting open-source, freely available, and evidence-based interventions, suitable for least developed contexts.

"I feel deeply honoured and humbled to have won this prize.  Awards like this are always the result of a team effort, and I'm very grateful to the colleagues who nominated me, and those many people - colleagues, research assistants, and research participants - who have made this possible."
- Prof. Catherine Ward

Her colleagues A/Prof. Elona Toska (CSSR), Dr. Jane Kelly (CSSR), Prof. Lucie Culver (Oxford), and Alex Butchart (WHO) nominated her, a testament to their admiration of her work. 

ParentApp from

Prof. Catherine Ward is one of the co-developers of the Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) suite of open-access, non-commercialised programmes that aimed to support parents to raise non-violent children in non-violent homes, endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). She is also the UCT-lead on the Global Parenting Initiative (GPI), a collaborative multinational research project aiming to increase access to free, evidence-based digital playful parenting support in the Global South. The GPI includes digital innovation projects such as ParentApp, ParentChat, and ParentText which are being tested in Africa and South-East Asia.

Over her distinguished career, Prof. Ward has published over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters, and has co-edited two books: The Oxford Textbook of Violence Prevention and Youth Violence: Sources and Solutions in South Africa.

In 2021 Prof. Ward became the Director of SaVI at the CSSR and in July 2023 she became the overall Director of the CSSR. She continues to teach at the Department of Psychology (UCT), where she previously held the title of Head of Department. She is also registered as a clinical psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.