The important role Universities can play in addressing Gender Equality and Gender Based Violence.

The important role Universities can play in addressing Gender Equality and Gender Based Violence.

Meet our speakers

  • Her Excellency Ms. Marianne Hagen
    Her Excellency Ms. Marianne Hagen
    Former State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Her Excellency Ms Marianne Hagen has been State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since November 2017. She has previously worked as Head of Communications at the Royal Court and as Adviser for the CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.
    She has been a member of Akershus County Council and Executive Board and has held various posts in the Conservative Party in Akershus County.
    Marianne Hagen has carried out undergraduate studies in Political Science and Law.
    She has board membership experience from four sectors: culture, health, energy and finance. She has also been Deputy Chair of DNB Savings Bank Foundation and Chair of the Board of Dextra Musica.

  • Mrs. Wenzile Madonsela Masimanga
    Mrs. Wenzile Madonsela Masimanga
    Mrs. Wenzile Madonsela Masimanga is Social Entrepreneur, Mental Health activist and Democracy Defender. She is also an expert advisor to the Board of SANA.

    Mrs Masimanga is a Social Entrepreneur, Mental Health activist and Democracy Defender. Spending
    most of her time unlocking human capital, she is
    the impact that social injustice has created in rural and informal communities in South Africa and from a global perspective. She dynamically advocates for and is involved in sustainable programs that are geared towards empowering people specifically through enterprise development and mental health advocacy.
    In the role as a business woman, Mrs. Masimanga is the Chief Well-Being Officer at Unafundo, which is a
    company which she co-founded in 2018. Unafundo is focused on empowering entrepreneurs through enterprise intelligence. She has a strong commitment to a sustainable and equitable environment for present and future generations. Having worked in the development sector, she liaises between communities and public / private institutions, collects and analyzes socio-environmental information and advises project proponents on feasible and equitable development undertakings along with their possible impacts.
    Having overcome many battles in her life; she is passionate about advocating for mental health and emotional wellness to ensure that there is access and early interventions in the Mental Health space, especially for previously disadvantaged persons. Through her passion and lived experience with mental health, in 2020 she became an internationally accredited Emotional Intelligence Practitioner with an interest in Neuro-Linguistic programming.
    In 2020 she also became a co-author for a catalyst children’s book on African Humanity, Melo’s Kingdom which was born out of the need to ensure that early childhood development includes lessons of humanity and ubuntu in this ever changing digital world.
    She serves as an advisory board member for the Basic Internet Foundation , South African
    Norwegian Association, Board Secretary to the Thuli Madonsela Foundation – THUMA and recently appointed to serve as Secretary General to Impilo-Collection Foundation.

  • Ms. Josina Machel
    Ms. Josina Machel
    An activist and Domestic Violence Survivor. Board Member of SANA, The Graca Machel Trust and The Samora Machel Documentation Centre and Founder of the Kuhluka Movement

    Ms. Josina Machel is the founder and director of Protect Her Life, an insurance company underwritten by Capital Alliance, a division of the Liberty Life group. She was recently elected to be the representative of Survivors of Violence, Mozambique, in the National Interim group at the European Union and United Nations. She was nominated to the Mama Albertina Sisulu 100 Women of Fortitude. She also joined the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). In 2007, Ms Machel started a consulting and training company Pfukani (Ltd) and in 2015 she founded the Kuhluka Movement and has won numerous awards both in South Africa and the USA.

    Ms. Machel holds an MSc degree in Sociology (Gender) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Social Science, Sociology and Political Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Ms. Nina Mdwaba
    Ms. Nina Mdwaba
    South African, London based performance and word artist

    Ms. Nina Siphesihle Pinkie Mdwaba (aka Boldieaintaboy) is a South African born writer, theatre-maker, spoken word, and performance artist. Ms. Mdwaba’s performance practice is predominantly autobiographical and intra-disciplinary and explores subject matter relating to race, gender, and sexuality, and ritualistic healing. She works predominantly in verbatim, using real-life accounts to carry through the narratives in her pieces. Other mediums used in Ms.Mdwaba’s work include poetry, music, movement, and film whilst incorporating various themes rooted in her African heritage. Since starting her performance career in 2017 Ms.Mdwaba has performed her works in over 20 art venues in Glasgow and London, including the GOMA, Modern institute, CCA, Transmission, Turner Prize contemporary, and a handful of festivals including Brainchild and Awomenfest in London. Her poetry work has recently been published in an Anthology with Poets versus in partnership with UNWomen UK. She is currently residing and making artwork in London with an emphasis on film, music, and poetry. She plans to publish a book of poems by 2022.

    Ms. Mdwaba is currently completing her Master’s degree in Drama and movement therapy at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

  • Prof. Loretta Feris
    Prof. Loretta Feris
    Deputy Vice Chancellor (Transformation) at University of Cape Town (UCT)

    Loretta Feris was Professor of Law in the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where she taught natural resources law, pollution law and international environmental law. Since January 2017 she has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Transformation) at UCT. She holds the degrees BA (law), LLB and LLD from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and LLM from Georgetown University in the USA. Prof Feris is an NRF rated researcher and has published widely in the area of environmental law, including environmental rights, liability for environmental damage and compliance and enforcement of environmental law. She is a board member of Biowatch and Natural Justice and has until 2013 served on the board of the South African Maritime Safety Authority. She is a Law Commissioner of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and a member of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law where she served on the teaching and capacity building committee for three years.

  • Prof. Sunniva Whittaker
    Prof. Sunniva Whittaker
    Rector of the University of Agder, Norway.

    Prof. Sunniva Whittaker is professor of French language and has held academic leadership positions for the last 17 years, as head of department and deputy rector at the Norwegian School of Economics and as dean at the University of Agder. Prof. Whittaker is currently the rector at the University of Agder. She has lived in several countries in addition to Norway: Canada, France and the Soviet Union. Her current research interests are language management and multilingualism.

  • Prof. Vivienne Lawack
    Prof. Vivienne Lawack
    Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academic at University of the Western Cape (UWC)

    Prof. Vivienne Lawack is an academic at University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), in South Africa between 1995 to June 2002. She taught Law of Payment Instruments, Corporate and advanced corporate law, Intellectual Property Law and Competition Law. She also curriculated and started IT Law at UPE. Her disciplinary research publications then and at present centres around legal and regulatory frameworks in payment systems, fintech, and banking and financial markets, with a particular lense of financial inclusion, financial integrity and migration. 

    In July 2003 until December 2006 she held various positions, namely senior payment system analyst, senior legal consultant and Manager: Financial Safety Net at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). She was also appointed as chief drafter of the National Payment System Amendment Act in 2006 and the Dedicated Banks Act. Professor Lwack joined Strate Ltd, SA’s central securities repository, where she was the Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for securities and IT legal work, as well as the amendment of the Strate Rules (as regulator of brokers). 

    In July 2008 until March 2015, she joined NMMU as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law. From 2009 she led the national LLB Curriculum Reform project as President of the South African Law Deans Association, a position she held between 2009-2015. A highlight was co-chairing the National Summit in 2013 with the late CEO of the Law Society of South Africa, Nic Swart, and being one of the key drafters of the CHE National Standards for the LLB programme, against which all law programmes in SA were reviewed. 

    She was also involved in a number of other legislative drafting projects and advisory input into national and SADC legislation. Prof. Lwack was a consultant and drafted the reviewer for the SADC Model Law on National Payment Instruments, which was approved by SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors in 2017.

    Prof. Lawack is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academic at University of the Western Cape (UWC), responsible for leading the academic project at UWC. Her terms was extended by Council for another 5 years. She was also the Acting Rector and Vice Chancellor of UWC from 1 February to 31 July 2020, incidentally leading the university during the COVID-19 crisis.

    She chairs and is a member of various boards and councils. A few are: current Chair of the SA DVC Academic Forum, founding Afric board member, Board member of the Kepler Institute in Kigali, Past Chair of the Cape Higher Education Consortium Board and returning member of the South African Judicial Institute (SAJEI) Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of SA.

    Prof. Lawack obtained her B.Juris ( cum laude), LLB cum laude at the former University if Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University) in 1993 and 1995, respectively. She obtained an LLM degree from UPE in 1997 and her LLM dissertation was titled “Electronic payment systems in South African law”. She graduated from the University of South Africa (Unisa) with a Doctor of Laws in 2001 (at age of 29). The doctoral thesis was titled “Aspects of Internet payment Instruments in South Africa”. She is an admitted Advocate of the High Court in SA since Dec 1995 on the non-practising roll).


Feb 05 2021
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2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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