Helen Buluma has acquired (15) years of robust and inter-disciplinary experience in social and international development, working on gender and women's rights; health, HIV/AIDS; rural livelihoods; development financing and aid effectiveness, among others. She has had a progressive and dynamic career in development having worked in various capacities for both national and international NGOs, among them, Save The Children, Oxfam GB and The UN Women. This experience is supported with grounded knowledge of and experience in the local community, national, regional and international development challenges in developing countries. In 2013, she took sabbatical from her professional work and took a plunge to contest for a seat in Parliament in the 2014 Malawi tripartite election as an independent candidate in which she came third out of eight contestants. She is passionate about politics, and closely follows politics in her country, Malawi, as well as internationally. She intends to contest again for a seat in parliament in the 2019 tripartite elections in Malawi.
Sarai is a Malawian legal researcher, writer and the founder of an online gender justice research network (EmGENDER). She is currently based in Portugal. Trained as a lawyer, Sarai has gone on to specialise in human rights and democratisation in Africa as well as women's and gender studies. Her areas of research include HIV/AIDS and the law; gender justice; women's rights and migration.
JANE C. DIALA
Jane C. Diala is an advocate of the Nigerian Supreme Court. She holds an LLB (Honours) from Madonna University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Nigerian Law School, Enugu (Honours), and an LLM in Comparative Law in Africa from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Jane’s PhD research examines the negotiation process of bridewealth payment in South-Est Nigeria. Her research interests are culture, women’s rights, law and development.
Hayley Galgut is a South African human rights lawyer who has litigated numerous high profile, public interest, test cases aimed at giving meaningful content and effect to South African women’s rights. She has co-authored numerous law reform submissions to the South African Law Reform Commission as well as various Parliamentary Portfolio Committees regarding, inter alia, choice on termination of pregnancy, minimum sentences legislation, adult prostitution, human trafficking, sexual offences, domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking, the constitutional issues raised by the position of women imprisoned for killing their abusive partners as well as the prohibition on mercenary and related activities. She has consulted on, conducted and/or participated in human rights and transitional justice-related research, advocacy, training and law reform initiatives in a number of countries at grassroots, civil society, judicial, government department and parliamentary levels, spoken at conferences, supervised university-based International Human Rights Law Clinics and lectured at several universities in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and Palestine on a variety of human rights, gender law and transitional justice related-topics.
Joanne trained as a social worker completing her degree at the then UPE now NNMU in 1992 and has since worked mostly in the human rights field with a four year stint in classical social work. She started her career at the Black Sash and worked as a paralegal for three years. After a few years of travel and working in the social work field, Joanne came back to human rights and joined the Social Change Assistance Trust (Scat) which for 30 years has been one of the leading NGOs in the Social Justice sector. They supported community based advice offices in around 200 communities in South Africa focusing on the rural areas. The organisation had a specific focus on access to justice and on gender and women's empowerment. In the last few years, Joanne was the Director of the organisation and primarily responsible for resource mobilisation. After she left the organisation she registered for her Masters in Social Policy and Administration which she completed in 2014. Her thesis topic was the Financial Sustainability of the NPO sector. Joanne has however, continued to feel a strong pull to issues of social justice and the work of communities in ensuring access to justice. As a strong believer in equality for women and the role of feminism in society, she is interested in doing a study which focuses on poor women and their legal consciousness. She would like to understand how women manage legal disputes in a society which pays lip service to issues of equality, which has an empowering constitution but, where patriarchy dominates the implementation of policy and legislation.
TINYADE JIMUSOLE KACHIKA
Tinyade is an independent legal and gender consultant from Malawi. She holds a Master’s Degree in Law (LLM) with Distinction from Georgetown University Law Centre (USA, 2008) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB- Hons) from the University of Malawi (1997). She has nineteen years of professional experience in carrying out socio-legal research in diverse areas of interest to women’s empowerment and gender equality; as well as in gender analysis and gender mainstreaming in initiatives aimed at achieving women’s political and socio-economic empowerment both at national and international levels.
Nyasha is a feminist researcher and consultant on gender and women's rights. She has worked and conducted research in the US, the Caribbean and Southern Africa. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on contextualising lesser understood forms of gender-based violence against women in South Africa. She is a former Fox Fellow at the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town (UCT). During her fellowship year she examined cultural views and practices surrounding violence against women, with a particular emphasis on the historical trajectory and present forms of ukuthwala (abduction for purposes of marriage) in the Eastern Cape. Nyasha is currently working towards an LLM by dissertation at UCT exploring the intersection and disjuncture between the law and customary perceptions of marital rape. Nyasha holds a BA from Wellesley College, a JD from Northeastern University, and an MA in African Studies from Yale University.
Wami is a first year doctoral student in public law at the faculty of law, University of Cape Town. He obtained a Masters in Law at UCT and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Lagos. Wami served as a researcher at the Supreme Court of Appeal of Malawi, the Centre for Law and Society at UCT as well as in the Lagos State University. He is a practicing lawyer and junior lecturer in his home country of Nigeria. His general area of interest is public law, with emphasis on International Human rights, public health policy, constitutional law and medical law.
Ruth is a human rights lawyer from Kenya with five years’ experience in the field working in varying contexts at national and regional levels. Her work in research, litigation and advocacy work focuses on the use of domestic, regional and international human rights legal frameworks specifically regarding women’s human rights with a focus on violence against women and girls, constitutionalism, and governance. This interest developed as she worked at the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) a feminist women’s rights NGO in Kenya. Ruth holds an LLB degree from Moi University- Eldoret, Kenya, a Post Graduate Diploma in legal practice from the Kenya School of Law and an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Cape Town (UCT).
NKOSIKHULULE XHAWULENGWENI NYEMBEZI
Nkosikhulule Xhawulengweni Nyembezi is a policy analyst, a researcher, and a human rights activist. He has been involved in the coordination of civil society election-monitoring programmes in the national, provincial and local government elections since 1994, and serves as the Co-Chairperson of the National Co-ordinating Forum – a platform that brings together civil society formations and the Electoral Commission. He has research interests on election campaigns and voter trends, and has contributed articles into the Compendium of the Electoral Advancement Institute of South Africa. He has a Masters degree in Public Administration (Political Studies) from the University of the Western Cape. He is a respected political and economic commentator who also serves as a studio resident analyst for Ukhozi FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM, and TruFM. He is a columnist for the recently launched I'solezwe lesiXhosa, has written a number of newspaper opinion articles and has been interviewed on radio and television on a wide range of issues.
Nyaradzo Pariola qualified as an Attorney at the University of Cape Town Legal Aid Clinic. Following her graduation, she worked as a Refugee Legal Counsellor eventually becoming the Project Director of the Refugee Rights Project at the Law Clinic, which operates as an implementing partner of the UNHCR. She subsequently worked for the Refugees and Migrants Rights Project at Lawyers for Human Rights as head of the Durban office, after which she did a Research Fellowship at Kings College, London, in Women, Peace and Security. She lectured Administrative Law and Interpretation of Statutes for the Law Faculty at NMMU. Nyaradzo has a BA in Industrial Sociology and Private Law, an LLB and an LLM in International Human Rights and Refugee Law from the University of Cape Town. She is hoping to graduate with her PHD in Public Law soon.
Samantha Waterhouse is currently the Head of the Women and Democracy Initiative of the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape. She’s focused on enhancing participatory democracy in South Africa by strengthening citizen engagement in holding government accountable as well as strengthening the legislatures for this purpose. She has worked for the past twenty years in the women and children’s sectors, advocating for the rights of women and of children, notably their protection and justice rights. She’s deeply invested in promoting the value of human dignity. Her experience includes providing counselling and paralegal support services; training and capacity building of criminal justice sector stakeholders; research; and engaging in advocacy for law and policy reform and implementation. She holds a diploma in photography (Peninsula Technikon) and an MPhil in Social Justice (UCT).