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Chair of the Association (South Africa)
Kubeshni is a Knowledge Management, Learning and Leadership consultant. She works with large and small systems using coaching and facilitation interventions as a Gestalt Organisational Development Practitioner. She is Chairperson of the Board of Associates of Gender Links; an NGO promoting gender equality and justice across fifteen countries and the founder of Black Earth Consulting – a management consulting company specializing in the public sector.
|Dr Athaliah Molokomme
Deputy Chairperson (Botswana)
Attorney General of Botswana, a human rights lawyer and well known gender activist, Dr Molokomme is also a former high court judge in Botswana in May 2003. She is former head of the Gender Department at the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Dr Molokomme co-founded and served as Executive Director of Emang Basadi, a women’s rights lobby group in Botswana, and is one of the founding members of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF). Among the awards she has received are the Women’s Human Rights Award from Women, Law and Development International (1993), and the Presidential Order of Meritorious Service in Botswana (1999).
South Africa’s ambassador to Cuba, a veteran freedom fighter and gender activist, Thenjiwe is former Deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress; former Chair of the Commission on Gender Equality and former commander of MK, the ANC’s military wing during the struggle for South Africa’s liberation. She recently completed her master’s dissertation on the impact of, and constraints faced by women parliamentarians in the new South Africa. Highly regarded in gender circles, Thenjiwe writes and speaks regularly on gender issues. Her framework for analysing women in decision- making, found in the book “Redefining Politics” has become a frame of reference in gender training in Southern Africa. Thenjiwe brings to GL a host of practical experience of dealing with the mainstream media, as well as enormous leadership and analytical skills.
|Dr Pinkie Mekgwe
Dr Mekgwe is an internationally recognised scholar having contributed, in the last 13 years, to English and African literature, gender politics and education in numerous refereed publications. Dr. Mekgwe currently works in the Research Department of the Council for the Development of Research in the Social Sciences in Africa (CODESRIA), based in Dakar, Senegal. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Wits Institute for Economic and Social Research (WISER), Dr. Mekgwe contributed to the Sexuality and Masculinity discourse within WISER with several articles and numerous presentations leading to the preparation of a book manuscript on Sexuality and the Concept of the Nation. She has also been an assistant lecturer at Sussex University’s School of African and Asian Studies, and a visiting lecturer at Malmo University in Sweden. Within the media, Dr Mekgwe was, for 3 years, a producer and presenter of “Open Book”, an educational, literature-focused radio programme aired on a Gaborone-based radio station. She was a founding Board Member of the Botswana Media Regulatory Body, and its first female chairperson. Dr Megwe holds a BA from the University of Botswana; as well as an M.Sc and D.Phil. (Gender and Literary Studies) from the University of Sussex.
Ferial Haffajee is a South African editor and journalist. She is currently associate editor at the Daily Maverick where she covers the Presidency, the commissions of inquiry into state capture and general economics and finance breaking news. Previously, Ferial was editor-in-chief at the Mail & Guardian and City Press, where teams working with her won numerous investigative journalism awards. She is a regular analyst and commentator on radio, television and elsewhere.
Ferial is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a member of the Africa Leadership Institute fellowship. She is on the board of the Open Society’s Programme for Independent Journalism. She has won numerous awards for journalism and for her support of media freedom including a Committee for the Projection of Journalism’s International Press Freedom Hero award in 2015 andthe Naspers Phil Weber award in 2013 – the global company’s highest internal honour.
Previously, Ferial was chairperson of the South African National Editors Forum and chairperson of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards. She has served on the boards of the World Editors Forum and the Global Editors Network. She has published a best-selling book called “What if there were no whites in South Africa”.
With education degrees from the University of South Africa and the University of Natal at Pietermaritzburg already to her credit, Thoko Mpumlwana earned an MA in the fields of Curriculum Development and Teacher Education from Michigan State University in the United States. Her professional career focused largely on teaching and related areas. Her student activities of the 1970s were succeeded by church and NGO involvement in the 1980s, with her chief interests lying in issues that affected the black community and women in particular. Her involvement continued when she moved into formal teaching during the period 1983 to 1994. Ms Mpumlwana is one of the original commissioners of the Electoral Commission established in 1997.Among other activities, Thoko Mpumlwana has chaired the South African Council of Churches Women’s Working Group and has been active in publishing as both author and editor. Immediately prior to her appointment to the Commission, her involvement at the Centre for Scientific Development at the Human Sciences Research Council centred on gender equity and research into women’s involvement in higher education. She remains active in community development, the promotion of human rights and gender equality, and education by serving on the boards of Independent Development Trust (IDT), Foundation for Human Rights (FHR), Womens’ Development Foundation (WDF), South African Women in Dialogue (SAWD), The Film and Publication Board (FPB), and the Council of the University of Pretoria, amongst others.
After a long career in Gender and Media activism, Keabonye Ntsabane, fondly known as KB, entered local politics in 2014. In 2018, she won the primary elections against four men from the BDP and is now one of five women, out of 11, in her council. Ntsabane became a gender activist working in the area of women in media and the issue that kept on coming up was ‘why can’t women make it to decision-making positions, what are the obstacles to women participating in politics?’ It was certainly possible, but not an easy road. Through her work with Gender Links and Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) on gender mainstreaming in councils, the work is ongoing. Gender focal points in councils now take responsibility for the gender activities and also co-fund these with CSOs and sharing of responsibilities, for example 16 days has become an important even on the calendar.
Ntsabane is passionate about gender issues, which she will push in council. She is particularly passionate about GBV, which she established a trust to address. She understands the importance educating people on women in decision making and power sharing to encourage women to stand for election. In 2018 Ntsabane was recognised with an Award from the President, nominated by the community because of the good work that she has done for the country. She was also recognised as a hero in the pension fund calendar. She says “I will die a happy person because I have done something for my country”.
Pat Made is a leading gender and media consultant, is former director general of Inter Press Service and former editor of the Southern African Economist magazine. During her tenure at IPS Pat played a key role in introducing a gender policy and transforming the editorial content of the sixth largest news agency in the world from a gender perspective. Widely travelled in Africa and the developing world, Pat brings to GL great insight into its work, as well as a wide array of relevant contacts. She has been serving on the GL Board since 2003, took a brief break in between and was re-elected in 2015.