The role of women in society has been greatly overlooked in the past, especially in the African continent, but now we can safely say that things are changing for the better. Women have made vast improvements in their lifestyles in the past few decades from holding positions in governments to successfully running multi-million rand businesses.
To honour those who’ve changed the game and proved that women are capable of holding high positions, we’re celebrating Africa’s most powerful women this women’s month and who better to start with that South Africa’s Public Protector, the honourable Advocate Thulisile Madonsela.
This is a woman who has kept her held high, performed her job to the best of her abilities, without fear or favour- despite the many challenges that come with the responsibility of being the country’s Public Protector.
Appointed by the President in 2009, Advocate Madonsela is South Africa’s third Public Protector and the first woman to occupy the position. Since taking the role, Madonsela and her team have sought to bring justice to society, protecting the rights of the public and as such, they have received overwhelming support both nationally and internationally.
Like most powerful women, Madonsela has worked hard to get where she is today. Among her many qualifications, she holds an LLB degree from one of SA’s top universities, University of Witwaterstrand (Wits) and an LLD Honoris Causa from the University of Fort Hare. She is also trained in Admistrative Investigation Techniques which include strategic planning, forensic investigations and project management.
A woman of many talents, the hardworking advocate was also one of the drafters of SA’s post-apartheid Constitution in 1994 and 1995 and was previously a member of a task team that prepared constitutional inputs for the Gauteng Province of the African National Congress (ANC).
Her addresses include the United Nations Global Compact Conference, World Economic Forum Council Conference, Tallberg Forum, International Ombudsman Institute Conferences, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy’s World Without Walls Conference and at African Union (AU) Conferences. Her international work includes contribution to the drafting of key international documents, including the Beijing +5 and WCAR Outcomes documents and several country human rights reports. She has also given lectures at various universities on her work and various aspects of the law.
For her efforts in creating and respecting a formidable legal and institutional framework for preventing and combating corruption in the country, she became the winner of Transparency International’s Integrity award in 2014. That same year, she was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people.
For the role you’ve played in fighting corruption, for your integrity, perseverance and hardwork- we celebrate you!