6th Global Conference on Violence Against Women | CTICC, South Africa | 21-25 October 2019

Guest Speakers

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, member of The Elders

Gro Harlem Brundtland, a medical doctor, was Norway’s first woman Prime Minister, serving a total of ten years as head of government between 1981 and 1996. She chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development – known as the Brundtland Commission – which articulated the principle of sustainable development for the first time at a global level. She was Director-General of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2003, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change from 2007 to 2010 and, from 2011 to 2012, was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Sustainability Panel. Gro Harlem Brundtland is a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who work together for peace, justice and human rights.

Josina Z. Machel, MSc

Mozambican gender equality activist Josina Z. Machel has spent the last 20 years defending of human rights and advocating against VAW. Following a horrific domestic violence experience that left Machel blind on one eye, she launched Kuhluka Movement. Kuhluka Movement is a non-profit initiative that empowers women survivors of gender-based and domestic abuse to find their voice and their feet to walk away from abusive relationships. Together, Kuhluka Movement and Machel are working to achieve a world where GBV does not exist. The Her-Life project was also co-founded by Machel, a project that seeks to provide services and support for women in emergency situations. Machel received her MSc in Sociology (Gender) from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Malebogo “Max” Molefhe
Malebogo “Max” Molefhe is a disability and gender rights activist who is passionate about raising awareness on violence against women and girls in all their diversities. She’s a former national basketball player who was brutally attacked and shot eight times by her former partner in 2009. It took Malebogo a few years to recover from the injuries and trauma caused by the attack. However despite the support she received the attack left her with a spinal cord injury, confining her to a wheelchair.

In 2017 Malebogo joint the ALIGHT Botswana project. This experience opened her eyes to the vulnerability of women and girls with disabilities who are at an even greater risk of violence. She now uses her life-altering traumatic experience and skills gained in her work to motivate, empower, educate, inspire, and raise awareness nationally and internationally on the issue of domestic abuse, gender-based violence and its intersection with disability.

Malebogo knows that her story and knowledge can help other women and girls who are facing abuse and disadvantages. She believes that her words are an important tool in the fight against gender-based violence affecting girls and women in all their diversities in many African societies.

Glenda Gray, MBBCh, FCPaeds (SA)
An NRF A-rated scientist, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray is a qualified pediatrician and co-founder of the internationally recognised Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at the SAMRC, she was the Executive Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, an affiliate of Wits University. Glenda’s global profile includes a role as Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), a transnational collaboration for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention vaccines. She is also Director of International Programmes for HVTN and Chairperson of the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, USA. She received South Africa’s highest honour - the Order of Mapungubwe - for her pioneering research in PMTCT. Other prestigious accolades include the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for  her significant contributions in the field of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.  Selected as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Glenda is a recognised leader in her field. Her qualifications include an MBBCH, FCPaeds (SA), DSc (honoris causa SFU), DSc (honoris causa SUN), LL.D (Rhodes).
Lisa Witter

Lisa Witter is the co-founder and Executive Chair of Apolitical - a global peer-to-peer learning platform used by public servants in 170 countries - named one of Fast Company’s ‘Most Innovative Companies in the World’ in 2018. She’s an award-winning executive, entrepreneur, author and public speaker. For more than 25 years she’s been working at the intersection of business, policy, government and behavioral science. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and served three terms on the Forum’s council on Behaviour and now co-chairs the Agile Governance Global Future Council. She’s sat on numerous boards including a publicly traded company and one for the U.S’. National Academy of Science and Engineering with an expertise in violence prevention. She is the co-author of The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them.