News

Taliban Kills Social Scientist in Hotel Attack News
Paula Kantor

Taliban Kills Social Scientist in Hotel Attack

May 15, 2015 857

Paula Kantor

Paula Kantor

A social scientist working to improve the lot of women and children in Afghanistan was among 13 people killed Thursday in an attack on a guesthouse in Kabul. The attack on the Park Palace Hotel killed 14 people; the Taliban has claimed responsibility, adding that the hotel was selected because foreign dignitaries were expected to be present.

Those dignitaries included Paula Kantor, a gender and development specialist serving as a consultant for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT, and an arm of CGIAR, formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research). Many of the dead were thought to be working on development or humanitarian projects, according to the Washington Post. The lone known attacker, outfitted with an AK-47, grenades, a pistol and a suicide vest, also died.

“These deliberate attacks on civilians are atrocities,” said Georgette Gagnon, the human rights director of the United Nations’ missing in Afghanistan, adding that they put the lie to the Taliban’s claim to be sensitive to harming civilians.

On its website, CIMMYT said Kantor was leading a new project “aimed at empowering and improving the livelihoods of women, men and youth in important wheat –growing areas of Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Pakistan.”

“Paula was a key pillar in our gender work and dear friend to many of us,” CIMMYT gender specialist Lone Badstue said of the 46-year-old from North Carolina. “It was a privilege to work with he. She had a strong passion for ensuring her work made a difference.”

The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, which Kantor head from 2008 to 2010, also hailed her instincts to “make a difference.”

“Paula gave her life here – like many other selfless heroes – to make sure millions of people, especially women, get a chance at a better life. She was aware of the risk she was taking to serve in conflict and terror-affected places. While we grieve her loss, we shall never forget the cause she gave her life for.”

Before starting with CIMMYT in February, Kantor had worked for two years with another CGIAR organization, WorldFish, and for two years before that with the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, D.C.

She has earned a Ph.D. in international economic development and gender from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before entering the field. She earned a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a master’s in gender and development from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. She has published widely.

Kantor is survived by her parents and siblings.


Related Articles

Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy
News
May 17, 2024

Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

Read Now
Survey Suggests University Researchers Feel Powerless to Take Climate Change Action
Impact
April 18, 2024

Survey Suggests University Researchers Feel Powerless to Take Climate Change Action

Read Now
Daniel Kahneman, 1934-2024: The Grandfather of Behavioral Economics
News
March 27, 2024

Daniel Kahneman, 1934-2024: The Grandfather of Behavioral Economics

Read Now
2024 Holberg Prize Goes to Political Theorist Achille Mbembe
News
March 14, 2024

2024 Holberg Prize Goes to Political Theorist Achille Mbembe

Read Now
New Feminist Newsletter The Evidence Makes Research on Gender Inequality Widely Accessible

New Feminist Newsletter The Evidence Makes Research on Gender Inequality Widely Accessible

Gloria Media, with support from Sage, has launched The Evidence, a feminist newsletter that covers what you need to know about gender […]

Read Now
Contemporary Politics Focus of March Webinar Series

Contemporary Politics Focus of March Webinar Series

This March, the Sage Politics team launches its first Politics Webinar Week. These webinars are free to access and will be delivered by contemporary politics experts —drawn from Sage’s team of authors and editors— who range from practitioners to instructors.

Read Now
There’s Something In the Air…But Is It a Virus? Part 1

There’s Something In the Air…But Is It a Virus? Part 1

The historic Hippocrates has become an iconic figure in the creation myths of medicine. What can the body of thought attributed to him tell us about modern responses to COVID?

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
iakovos