Gender and Governance Associate

Susan Tolmay is a South African feminist and human rights activist committed to social, economic and environmental justice with over 17 years-experience working on women and human rights in an NGO environment (regional and international) managing, diverse and multicultural teams, across multiple countries virtually.

Formerly she worked as the Gender and Governance Manager at Gender Links, Women’s Rights and Information Manager at AWID and Women and Marginalised Groups Rights Officer at Amnesty International, and is currently the Gender and Governance Associate at Gender Links.

Susan has over ten years-experience conducting research and analysis, developing gender policies and guidelines and mainstreaming gender in local government policy and programming. Working in eight Southern African countrie,s she conducted baseline research on gender in local government, which informed project design in these countries. Through developing locally adapted materials, the programme included building the capacity of local government officials and politicians to mainstream gender throughout the institution. Gender action planning included targets and indicators for organisational transformation and gender mainstreaming in service delivery as well as gender specific programmes, including on gender-based violence and women’s economic empowerment.

As the Gender and Governance Associate at Gender Links Susan has helped to document key learning from the Centres of Excellence in Local Government programme, a ten stage process to mainstream gender in councils. She served as an adjudicator at the 2021 Regional #Voice and Choice SADC Protocol at Work Summit, which showcased best practices of local councils, from across the SADC region, in integrating gender in councils, as well as conducting gender specific programmes on SRHR, GBV and economic justice.

Susan’s years of experience working on interdisciplinary development issues have given her in-depth knowledge of intersectionality, especially of gender, race, sexual orientation and class, and how to factor these into project design and implementation. She has experience in developing organisational monitoring and evaluation tools, specifically setting up systems and processes to effectively manage information and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of programmes; and developing case studies that illustrate good practises in implementing gender mainstreaming in institutions.

As a content and knowledge producer and manager she has ensured the production of high-quality, meaningful and well synthesized knowledge products, including programme and project learning products. She has conducted research and written on a wide range of global feminist and human rights issues – including women in political decision-making, migrant and refugee rights, sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), gender-based violence and gender and climate justice.

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