WHO WE ARE

FREEDOM cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression

Women Lead Movement is a South African-based Non-Profit Organisation established in 2017. We promote and advocate for gender equality as well as an active and participatory citizenry, which are both pivotal for the achievement of good governance, sustainable development, social justice and transformation. Our work speaks to the aspirations of the South African National Development Plan Vision 2030, National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBV and Femicide 2020, South African Constitution of 1996, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5, 10 and 16, United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and AU Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Women Lead Movement initiates, mobilise, organise and manages multiple community engagements and events in the form of dialogues, capacity building workshops, outreach programmes, campaigns and advocacy pertaining to human rights, gender equality, gender-based violence, democracy, community participation. grassroots activism and personal and leadership development with the aim to ensure that local communities become places where an active, informed and participatory citizenry thrives

HOW WE WORK

Education & Capacity Building

We are committed towards the holistic development and capacity building of its beneficiaries in communities and schools and offer diverse programmes ranging from gender-based violence, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, personal and leadership development, human rights and democracy education, trauma informed mentoring, substance use disorder and community participation. We work with a range of expert facilitators and organisations to ensure that we deliver quality programmes to our beneficiaries. Our capacity building programmes enable members of the community, including the poor and disadvantaged, to develop new skills and competencies; to expand their knowledge base on a range of complex issues affecting them; and to increase their leadership, self confidence and resilience to take greater control of their own lives and contribute meaningfully to the development of their communities.

Advocacy & Campaign

We participate in a wide range of advocacy and campaigns to raise awareness on gender based violence, gender equality, human rights, good governance and democracy. We influence policy makers and public opinion. We further mobilise citizens, young and old, in communities and online to campaign, petition and advocate against discriminatory laws, policies and practices that directly and indirectly seek to undermine, oppress, marginalise and exclude women and girls from equally participating in social, political and economic endeavours. Through our advocacy and campaigning we aim to transform the barriers of unequal power relations and structures WLM participates in international, regional and national conferences, seminars, workshops and discussions that addresses policy, legal, political, social and economic inequities of women. WLM have achieved success in influencing and changing attitudes, mindsets and behaviours through community advocacy and campaigning in particular as it pertains to discrimination, gender stereotyping, violence and injustice

CORE OBJECTIVES

1.

To educate, advocate and campaign for the promotion of gender equality and violence-free communities in particular violence perpetrated against women and children in schools, workplaces and the broader community

2.

To inspire and inculcate a culture of tolerance, understanding and respect for Human Rights

3.

To promote an active, informed and engaged citizenry that encourages ordinary people to play their part in creating supportive, safe and prosperous communities

OUR MISSION

WLM provides impactful & holistic programmes to ensure that  communities are empowered and equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to  become places where an active, informed and participatory citizenry thrives 

OUR TEAM

Melene Rossouw
Melene Rossouw

Founder & Executive Director

Melene is an internationally recognised gender and human rights activist, global award winner, public speaker, moderator, facilitator, strategist, and consultant. She is an attorney by profession with 13 years experience in the private, governmental, and non-governmental sectors.

Melene graduated from the University of the Western Cape with a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) and Master of Laws (LL.M) specialising in Public and Constitutional Law, majoring in Human Rights and Law of Intergovernmental Relations. Some of the positions she has held were attorney, legal researcher, national cabinet committee secretary, special advisor to the minister and ministerial media spokesperson.

Melene has served in respected offices such as the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Western Cape High Court, The Presidency of South Africa and two National Government Ministries. In 2017, Melene co-founded Women Lead Movement and currently serves as the Executive Director of the organisation. In 2020, Women Lead Movement established another office in Madagascar to build on its Pan-African vision for the movement.

Some of her accolades include being selected by the prestigious Obama Foundation as an Obama Leader in Africa (2018). She is also a contributor for the Future Africa Forum on Governance and Human Rights in Africa since 2018. In 2019, Melene was selected as one of 11 Spokeswomen in Africa for the Global Campaign on Gender Equality by the US based ONE Global Campaign and has subsequently participated in three more global campaigns such as #YoursInPower and #PassTheMic that respectively reached more than 750 000 and 250 million people globally. In 2019, she was also selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF) by the US Department of State. Melene is a member of the African Women Leadership Network, which is a movement supported by UN Women and the African Union as well as the Public Speaking Association of Southern Africa. In 2020, Melene was selected by Junior Chamber International (JCI) as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World honourees in the category for World Peace/Human Rights. She was also selected by JCI South Africa as a Top Ten Outstanding Young Person in South Africa and nominated by Avance Media as ‘100 Most Influential Women in Africa 2020’. In October 2020, Melene was also selected as “100 Most Influential Young Africans” and made the Top Ten list of Most Influential Young Africans in the category for “Leadership and Civil Society” by Africa Youth Awards. In 2021, Melene was appointed as a Play Your Part Ambassador by Official Brand South Africa responsible for promoting a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa.

She was also recently named as one of the 100 Most Influential South Africans and appointed as the youngest Board member of Western Province Professional Rugby. In 2021, Melene was selected as the winner in the category of Public and Private Service for the Accenture Rising Start Awards –most talented young professionals under the age of 40.

Through her work she has initiated and led multiple educational and advocacy programmes and interventions online and in communities reaching thousands of people in South Africa and globally. Melene has also led highly complex public engagement processes on pertinent issues affecting the country and communities. She is often called upon to participate in engagements and share her expertise with government, private sector and NGOs on issues relating to Democracy, Governance and Gender Equality on national, regional, and international platforms. Her vision is to promote a gender equal society and an active and participatory citizenry to strengthen Democracy and Democratic governance.

Nicola Cloete
Nicola Cloete

Director

Nicola is an accomplished entrepreneur who co-founded her first women-owned corporation in 2002 and excel as a businesswoman focusing on human resources management, business development support consulting, leveraging her rich experience from working in corporates, private companies and non-profit organisations.

She is a seasoned human resource practitioner who qualified from Cape Peninsula University of Technikons in 1998 and is registered with the South African Board of People Practices as an HR Professional. Nicola is also a registered assessor and moderator with the Services Seta.

Nicola is proficient in overseeing company financial reports, implementing business strategies and optimising the organisation’s operational capabilities. She is also responsible for overseeing the daily business and administrative operations and improving operating procedures for optimal efficiency. Nicola is accountable for leading and motivating staff to achieve organisational objectives, overseeing the recruitment process, establishing policies that improve and promote company vision and culture, evaluating company performance and recommend strategies to improve results. Nicola is in charge of stakeholder relationship management in order for the organisation to carry out its business operations.

People may deem her quiet, but Nicola values actions more than words. The voluntary work she is engaged in testifies of this. She is a deep thinker, making well-thought-out, practical decisions, yet she is an extrovert with the ability to effectively lead large groups of people.

Nicola is passionate about people. She identifies talent and support people to bridge wastelands to where their talent can flourish. She is an outdoor person who loves discovering new places. She has amalgamated her love for traveling and photography and have toured South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Thailand, England, Scotland and the United States of America and continues to encourage others to voyage as a means to broaden ones perspectives and perceptions. Her current sport endeavours include fishing and kayaking.

Nicola has excellent leadership and organisational skills. She has in-depth understanding of the workings of different departments of a company, including finance and human resources. Nicola has exceptional planning and controlling skills. These all contribute to her ability to gives an organization a sense of direction, focusing attention on objectives and results, establishing a basis for teamwork. It also helps anticipating problems and cope with change. Nicola has developed great problem solving skills.

Organisations Nicola has worked for or have done worked for include amongst other De Beers Consolidated Mines, Shoprite Checkers Head Office, CFaN, Itron, Edison Power Group, Contrado and Umkai Building and Civil Works.

Nicola maintains very high standards of professionalism and embraces values of honesty, dedication and dignity. One of her favourite quotes are “The greatest good that you can do for another, is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him, his own” by Benjamin Disreali.

Gabriella Oliver
Gabriella Oliver

Director

Gabriella Oliver is a Masters student in Development Studies under the Institute for Social
Development ( ISD ) at the University of the Western Cape ( UWC ). She holds at least two degrees
in which one she double majored in Political Science and Ethics, and an Honours degree in
Development Studies. Additionally, she is currently enrolled as a Public service Fellow at the
FuturElect Apolitical Academy where she was successfully selected as 1 of the exclusive 28 leaders
out of 250 hopefuls in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to make it on the
final 2022 cohort list. She receives mentorship and intensive training in public service through the
FuturElect Apolitical Academy in preparation to be of quality leadership in governmental
institutions.
In her efforts to build wider leadership capacity, she is a well trained peer facilitator at the HIV/
AIDS Unit at her University and is a firm believer that it is important for young women to lead in
the forefront on issues that directly effects the youth such as mental health, gender-based violence
(GBV), HIV/AIDS, and access to reproductive rights. Gabriella is a staunch GBV activist and based
her research thesis on investigating the Effects of emotional abuse on women in student leadership
structures.
Gabriella has 10 years of experience in youth leadership starting from the age of 16 until presently.
She has served on various leadership structures through-out the span of her 10 year tenure in
leadership including grassroots level up until national leadership level. Presently, she is part of a
network of SADC youth leaders that hopes to make a global impact towards contributing to the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Gabriella also carries a deep passion for local community activism and is a trainee in Community
Development which sees her tackling very sensitive community challenges in the Cape Flats
communities such as providing material support to children born with physical and cognitive
disabilities as a result of prenatal exposure to harmful substances. She enjoys the magnitude of the
type of work that she does because it allows her to connect with children, young people and the
elderly and other vulnerable groups which she is passionate about giving support to.
Her vision for South Africa includes good clean governance, zero corruption, women running for
public office, intergenerational dialogue between the youth and older generations as well as
recreating the standards of society which genuinely

Roshnee Chinapa
Roshnee Chinapa

Chairperson

Roshnee completed her A+ and MCSE, thereafter she was afforded the opportunity to job shadow in an advertising agency assisting the head of TV and radio production and that is where she discovered her passion for the advertising world.

In 2012 when after working in the industry for 13 years covering various roles at some of the best advertising companies in SA such as Lowe Bull Calvert Pace, King James, TBWA, Hippocampus, Forwardslash, specializing in Operations, Production, Traffic and Print Management, IT, Art Buying and Online Gaming she saw the demand for value for money advertising and decided to open her own business called Posh Promotions.

Posh Promotions is a through the line advertising agency that specializes in branding, promotional items and sports management. Her main focus was to offer her clients a product or service that was quality, at a decent price point and delivered timeously. Having a more personal approach to doing business with her clients was something that just drove her to want to do more and to the best of her ability. 8 years later Posh Promotions is still going strong. She is proud mother of three beautiful adopted children

Eemaan Graham
Eemaan Graham

Secretary

Eemaan Graham graduated from the University of the Western Cape in 2008 obtaining her LL.B degree. A dynamic and focused lawyer, she has advised in matters of contract and property law in the corporate sector until moving to litigation in 2010.

Eemaan embarked on a legal career with a passion for social justice and human rights and has brought these ambitions into all her roles. She has served as a mentor to junior attorneys during her tenure at Legal Aid South Africa and elected as liaison for the Southern Suburbs Attorneys Association while running her own practice.

She consults to the Ottery Civic Association engaging in community projects, presently establishing a skills advancement programme for the youth in the area and assisting in legal administrative matters for the local residents. Eemaan’s focus is in assisting persons or start- up professionals who have not been able to access quality legal representation offering alternative dispute resolution, representation at Court including Superior Court and consulting in risk management and averment.

She has always believed that opportunity and equality mean different things to different people and endeavours to use her experience to give effect to the ideals that underpin our Constitution so that real change can be a real experience for those she works with.

Chantal Rix
Chantal Rix

Treasurer

Chantal Rix, an individual that possess variety of capacities. She has a friendly and honest
disposition and is currently employed at an auditing and accounting firm.
She has a great rapport amongst her peers and gets along with people from all walks of life. She is
well organised, analytical, efficient, and extremely competent to deliver service of the highest
calibre. She is driven and aim to excel in whatever task she tackles and possess great interpersonal
skills.
She has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial and administration field in various
industries covering, Retail, Risk Management, Events, Eyewear Manufacturing, Hardware and
currently Accounting Audit and Tax consulting.
She grew up in Ottery the eldest of five siblings of which she is the only one that matriculated and
had the opportunity to tertiary education. She completed her tertiary studies at Varsity College,
Credit Skills and Management Institute, Damelin and El Elyon Bible Institute. She is a wife and a
mother of two gorgeous and active boys aged 7 and 8 years old. She is the Co-founder of the
organisation Hashtag SA Unite NPC and their mission is To love people, To show kindness and To
serve change. She value and adore her family and strive to model love, care, kindness, compassion,
empathy, integrity and respect towards each other and others.
She’s a teachable individual and always ready to learn and governs her life by strong biblical
principles. She is committed to seeing things through, even when the scales are uneven, she pushes
and perseveres. She has an innate ability to rise above any challenge with fortitude and patience
that makes her a balanced individual with a stable character.
She has a heartbeat for the disadvantaged communities especially on the Cape Flats where good
role models are rare and opportunities to fall into the trap of the status quo are lurking. She is
determined to assist our people to rise above the plagues of poverty, gangsterism, drugs and
ignorance. She live to inspire, encourage, educate, and empower our people from all walks of life.
Mahatma Gandhi observed “that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of
others.”

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There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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