Feminist activism makes the world a better place for all!

The Nasty Women Writers

Joy Watson

 Joy Watson, Online Editor

Joy Watson is a feminist researcher and writer. She has been active in the feminist sector for twenty years now, even though she feels like a twelve-year old much of the time. She has grand aspirations of using her writing to overthrow institutionalised patriarchy. At times, this has led to exciting things such as her research being used as the basis for a television documentary. At other times, she sits on the couch and bemoans the fate of the world. This has happened a lot since Donald Trump became President in the US. Joy writes an online feminist column for Elle South Africa as part of an ideological crusade to win over followers for feminism. Joy is currently doing her PHD in Political Studies and learning lots of lovely things.

Amanda Gouws

Amanda Gouws, Co-Editor of Upcoming Nasty Women Publication

Amanda Gouws is Professor of Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the USA. Her specialization is South African Politics and Gender Politics. Her research focuses on women and citizenship, the National Gender Machinery and representation. She is the editor of (Un)Thinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa. (UK: Ashgate and Cape Town: Juta, 2005). In 2007 she was the Edith Keeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, USA. In 2011 she was selected as a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation Centre in Bellagio, Italy, where she was working on a book on the Women’s Movement in South Africa. In 2012 she received the Wilma Rule Award for the best paper at the International Political Science Association Conference in Madrid, Spain, in the category Gender and Politics with the title “Multiculturalism in South Africa: Dislodging the Binary between Universal Human Rights and Culture/Tradition”. Her edited book “Gender and Multiculturalism:North/South Perspectives” appeared with Routledge Press in 2014. She was a Commissioner for the South African Commission on Gender Equality from 2012-2014. She is currently a Distinguished Professor, holding a NRF Research Chair in Gender Politics.

Nidzara Ahmetasevic

Nidžara Ahmetašević

Nidžara has a long career as a journalist working for various local, regional and international media on human rights, war crimes, international affairs and migrations. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Al Jazeera English online, The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, the International Justice Tribune, Balkan Insight, Euobserver, etc. She has been awarded in Bosnia and internationally. She has been awarded AHDA Columbia University Fellowship, Chevening Scholarship, Ron Brown Fellowship for Young Professionals, as well as UNICEF Keizo Obuchi Award.
Layla Al-Zubaidi

Layla Al-Zubaidi

Layla Al-Zubaidi is the director of Heinrich Böll Foundation’s (HBF) Southern Africa Office in Cape Town, South Africa. From 2006 to 2012 she was Director of the Foundation’s Middle East Office in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to that she was based in Ramallah, Palestinian Territories, serving at the GIZ, Deutsche Welle and other development and media institutions. She has studied Social Anthropology in Germany and the US, and specialises in human rights, women’s rights, media, and freedom of expression. She co-edits the magazine “Perspectives Africa”.

Other published work includes “Walking a Tightrope: News Media and Freedom of Expression in the Arab Middle East” (HBF), “Anywhere but Now: Landscapes of Belonging in the Eastern Mediterranean” (HBF), “Unmaking Power: Democratic Transition in the Middle East” (Routledge) and “Writing Revolution: The Voices from Tunis to Damascus” (I.B. Tauris), which won the UK PEN award. The US edition (title: “Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus”) was published by Penguin. An article on Syria’s creative uprising appeared in the London Review of Books.  

Avi Amin

Avni Amin

Avni Amin works on gender equality and violence against women at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She has worked on women’s health and particularly their sexual and reproductive health and rights for the last 20 years with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Middle-East. She has a PhD in International Health from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health in the USA. She grew up in India. Her feminist beliefs are influenced by what she observed growing up in a patriarchal society and by strong women in her life. She is a mother of two girls and dreams of a future when equality for women will be a given.

Friederike Bubenzer

Friederike Bubenzer

Friederike is a peace building practitioner who works with policy makers, civil society leaders and activists on finding ways to conceptualise and implement sustainable social justice and reconciliation processes in Africa. She is currently Senior Project Leader in the Justice and Peacebuilding Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa and is focusing much of her time on exploring the nexus between mental health and peacebuilding. She is the co-editor of ‘Hope, Pain and Patience: The Lives of Women in South Sudan’ (Jacana, 2011) and holds an MPhil in Development Studies and Social Transformation from the University of Cape Town and undergraduate degrees in International Relations from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a fellow of Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights’ Association for Historical Dialogue and Accountability.

 

Julia Claassens

Julia Claassens

Julia Claassens (jclaassens@sun.ac.za) is Professor in Old Testament at the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University. Before moving back to teach at her alma mater, she spent 13 years in the United States, during which time she studied at Princeton Theological Seminar and taught in Greenbay,WI, Richmond, VA and Washington DC. Her most recent book, Claiming Her Dignity: Female Resistance in the Old Testament was published with Liturgical Press in 2016. She is also author of Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God’s Liberating Presence (Westminster john Knox 2012 and The God who Provides: Biblical Images of Divine Nourishment, Abingdon, 2004). She is also the Director of the Gender Unit at the Faculty of Theology that seeks to offer a creative space for conducting interdisciplinary research on an intersectional understanding of gender.

Rebecca Davies

Rebecca Davies

Rebecca Davis grew up in Malawi and Cape Town, and was educated at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and the University of Oxford in the UK. She is an award-winning journalist whose writing appears in the Daily Maverick and a wide range of other South African publications. Her first book, a collection of humorous essays titled ‘Best White’, was published in 2015.

Nasty Women Contributor
Picture by Pablo Albarello

 

Luan Dreyden

Luan Dreyden is a Language Practitioner, ESL instructor, teacher trainer and Cambridge English Examiner. Her love for the English language has led her into the classroom where she has the honour of meeting women and men from around the world.

The women in her classroom have peaked her interest in women’s rights on a global scale. Coming from all over the world, these women share their stories and views giving Luan the opportunity to be both the teacher and the student.

Vuyiseka Dubula

Vuyiseka Dubula

Vuyiseka is currently completing her PhD at the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her post-graduate studies were focus on HIV/AIDS management in the place of work (Stellenbosch University).  Vuyiseka has been involved with Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in multiple roles since 2001, but more recently she was their general secretary (executive director) for eight years. She joined Sonke Gender Justice as their Director of policy and accountability unit in 2014, and now is the director of programmes in 2017. She has also has experience in academic postgraduate teaching and student supervision from her lecturing role on social aspects of HIV&AIDS at the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management (University of Stellenbosch).  S

Vuyiseka is openly living with HIV for seventeen years, and has been the leader of people living with HIV through serving on South African National AIDS Council (SANAC). Also a founder of the Activist Centre for Education & Development (AEDC) in 2009 which facilitate access to higher education for women living with HIV activists and create platforms for community activist’s leaders particularly women to reflection, writing and record their stories. She is a recipient of various awards for her leadership and activism, including the Global leadership award from Acacia Global (2015) , John Lloyd Foundation Leadership Award (2010) , recognised by the University of Oslo as a “courageous leader” (2004). 

Emilie Gambade
Photo credit: Themba Mbuyisa

Emilie Gambade

Emilie Gambade is currently the Editor-in-Chief for ELLE & ELLE Decoration South Africa. She was formerly the managing editor of Marie Claire, fashion editor for the Daily Maverick and a contributor to the Mail & Guardian. She has worked in several media environments, from retail, to television, print – both news, magazine and digital. She was born in Paris, France, and she studied in the United States where she graduated with a Bachelor in Science & Business Administration, majoring in Finance & Investment from Western Carolina University, Magna Cum Laude.

Rebecca Helman

Rebecca is a PHD candidate at the University of South Africa. Her PHD, entitled ‘post rape subjectivities’ examines the ways in which rape survivors are able to (re)constitute their subjectivities amidst the discursive and material politics of sexual violence in South Africa. Rebecca is currently employed as a researcher at UNISA’s Institute for Social and Health Sciences and the South African Medical Research Council – UNISA’s Violence Injury and Peace Unit.

Melanie Judge

Melanie Judge

Melanie is a queer and feminist activist and scholar. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town, and a research associate at the Centre for Law and Society. Melanie holds a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies, a Masters in Development Studies and an Honours in Psychology. Melanie has been integrally involved in law reform and advocacy in the fields of sexuality, gender and LGBTI equality. Her analysis has been published in academic books and journals, and in the popular media, and she is lead editor of To Have and To Hold: The Making of Same-sex Marriage in South Africa. Melanie is the 2016 recipient of Rhodes University/UCKAR’s Psychology and Social Change award, for her activism and scholarship on sexuality.

Melanie’s forthcoming book, Blackwashing Homophobia: Violence and the Politics of Sexuality, Gender and Race, published by Routledge, will be released later this year. She currently serves as a trustee of the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action. As an independent consultant to local and international non-profit organisations and donors, Melanie collaborates on strategy, facilitation and research to advance social justice.

Zama Khanyile
Zama Khanyile

Zama is a qualified Chartered Accountant with an Honours degree in Accounting from the University of Johannesburg (formerly Rand Afrikaans University). She has an uncanny affinity for figures and is well-versed in all financial matters.  She is a Fund Manager at the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) where she is in charge of uMnotho Fund (the Corporate Finance division of the National Empowerment Fund which deals with acquisitions, new ventures and expansions) where she leads a team of 12 investment professionals in carrying out the mandate of improving access to capital by availing finance to Black Economic Empowered entities, maximising the economic participation of women, and supporting businesses with high job-creation potential.

Zama is also responsible for overseeing the Women Empowerment Fund of the NEF. After completing her articles at KPMG, she was quickly selected by this prestigious firm to become an Audit Manager within KPMG’s Information and Consumer Markets business unit where she led audit teams, handled fee negotiations and managed client relationships. Zama is the currently the Gauteng Chairperson of the African Women Chartered Accountants’ forum (AWCA). She is passionate about community upliftment, especially that of young African women. Not content to rest on her laurels, Zama is currently studying towards a Master of Management in Finance and Investment degree with Wits Business School.

Ashanti Kunene

Ashanti Kunene

Ashanti Kunene is an International Studies Masters student at Stellenbosch University. She identifies as an intersectional Radical Black Feminist and is passionate about social justice issues. She loves to read, cook and write poetry. Her research interests are humans and how their collective epistemological and ontological inclinations shape and drive our society. She has been heavily involved in student activism (#FeesMustFall) and is committed to the realization of a self-actualized black Azania. Ashanti smashes patriarchy everyday with her stiletto heels.

Riska Koopman

Riska Koopman

Riska is currently completing her MA (International Relations) at Stellenbosch University, where she also obtained her BA and BComm Honours degrees. She is fascinated by the impacts of China’s economic rise on the African continent, her thesis focuses on the impacts of China’s foreign direct investment on the South African economy. She has been awarded a DAAD-NRF scholarship as well as the BRICS scholarship in 2016. She is currently living in China, learning mandarin and discovering the developing feminist movements in the communist country.

Ronel Koekemoer

Ronel Koekemoer

Ronel Koekemoer is a full time reader who enjoys a cup of tea and a good book a lot more than people. When she is not reading, she is earning money to buy books by working as a tutor and research assistant. In her spare time, she is an Honours student in Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town and works as a counsellor at Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust. Her research interests include genocide, sexual violence, queer histories and abortion legislation in South Africa.

Claudia Lopes

Claudia Lopes

Claudia Lopes is a women’s rights activist with a particular passion for advocating on issues related to violence against women. A postgraduate degree in Psychology led to a specialization in  supporting victims of trauma and violence in South Africa and, for a short stint, in the United Kingdom. She works at the Southern Africa office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) currently managing a project which seeks to enhance the state’s response to Gender-Based Violence within the context of Intimate Partner Violence and shelters for abused women.

Since joining the HBF, Claudia has worked on several research studies and publications including “Shelters housing women who have experienced abuse: policy, funding and practice, “Criminal Justice Responses to Domestic Violence: Assessing the Impact of the Domestic Violence Act,” “Sexualised Violence in the National Debate: Cross Border Observations on India and South Africa” and “Challenging Patriarchy: Conversations on Violence against Women”.

Helen Moffett

Helen Moffett

Helen Moffett is a writer, freelance editor, feminist activist and recovering academic. She’s compiled three editions of a poetry anthology and a guide to academic English for Southern African students, and a collection of South African landscape writings, Lovely Beyond Any Singing. She has toured Canada with her debut collection of poems, Strange Fruit, published by Modjaji, and her second poetry collection, Prunings, was published in 2016 by uHlanga Press. Her collaborations include a cricket book (the late Bob Woolmer’s magnum opus), the Girl Walks In erotica series with Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick (under the nom de plume Helena S. Paige), and Stray, an anthology of animal writing for the benefit of the charity TEARS.

Helen’s extensive academic work is published locally and abroad, and she also writes for the Mail & Guardian. She has a special interest in development editing and the training of young editors, writers, journalists, and researchers. Recent projects include co-editing the 2016 Short Story Day Africa anthology Migrations with Efemia Chela and Bongani Kona; and a memoir of Rape Crisis to mark the fortieth year of the organisation’s founding. She blogs at helenmoffett.com.

Aarti Narsee

Aarti Narsee

Aarti Narsee is a journalist based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has  a passion for reporting on women’s rights, justice and stories about children. She has often been the youngest journo in most of her newsrooms and other social circles. She started off her career in print at ‘The Times’ and ‘Sunday Times’ in Johannesburg and then made the move to broadcasting. She has worked closely with many civil society organisations covering topics that require the greatest sensitivity. Aarti is most passionate about creating awareness and making a noise about the manner in which rape is handled in South Africa. She hopes that through her writing and reporting that she can play a role in breaking down patriarchy and rape culture, one step at a time.

Ellen Riggle

Ellen Riggle

Ellen Riggle was raised on a small farm in rural Indiana (U.S.). She attended Purdue University and the University of Illinois. She is currently a professor of gender and women’s studies and political science at the University of Kentucky and co-founded PrismResearch.org, dedicated to enhancing research on and contributing to the well-being of LGBTQ individuals and communities.

 

Carmine Rustin

Carmine Rustin

Carmine Rustin is a PhD candidate at the University of the Western Cape, Women’s and Gender Studies Department. She is the former Chief Researcher of the Research Unit at the Parliament of South Africa. 

Berenice Paulse

Berenice Paulse

Berenice Paulse is a former small-town farm labourer who writes on issues of social justice and gender. She has published in local South African newspapers on matters that cannot strictly speaking be considered party-political (given her day job), although she is often very tempted to do so. Her strong views on gender and the interrelationship between language and power has sometimes made her the object of misogynist vitriol.

Anastasia Slamat

Anastasia Slamat

Anastasia Is currently employed as a junior consultant at a Cape Town Based Political consultancy. She holds a Bachelors, Honours and Masters Degree in International Relations at the University of Stellenbosch, majoring in Political Science and Gender Studies. Anastasia has a keen interest in public policy, state feminism and local sites of agenda setting for grass roots women. In her short career she has worked on local, national and international projects, including local municipality research and consulting, business advisory services in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), country risk analysis for the German Federal Government and has contributed to the roll out of a national AgriParks (rural economic development) project.

Daiva Stasiulis

Daiva Stasiulis

Daiva Stasiulis is Professor of Sociology at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). She is a feminist scholar working on intersectionality, and the nexus between citizenship and migration. The focus of her publications has been on the role played by immigration, and multiethnic and multi-racial diversity and inequalities in shaping the Canadian economy, politics and culture; and the opportunities and constraints of globalization and settler colonization in affecting migrants’ lives and identities. Her book with Abigail Bakan, Negotiating Citizenship: Migrant Women in Canada and the Global System won the award for Best Book in Canadian Women’s Studies in 2007. She has edited a book with Amanda Gouws on Gender and Multiculturalism: North-South Perspectives (2013). She is currently completing a book entitled The Emotional Cartography of Dual Citizenship: The Lebanese Diaspora in the Shadow of War (for which she received the Marston Lafrance Research Award in 2016). Her current anti-wall activism is focused on statelessness in Canada.

Nasty Women Contributor

Raenette Taljaard is the Executive Director of ERSA, and served as Director of The Helen Suzman Foundation from 2006-2009. In 1999, at the age of 25, she became the second youngest woman ever elected to the South African Parliament and served on numerous parliamentary committees, including the Standing Committee on Public Accounts during the arms deal investigation. Raenette is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Fellow of the Emerging Leaders Programme of the Centre for Leadership and Public Values and an ALI Aspen Institute Fellow. She has served on the Board of LoveLife, South Africa’s largest HIV/AIDS organisation, the Board of Stias at the University of Stellenbosch, and was a member of the Regional Agenda Council on Africa for the World Economic Forum where she is still engaged in its Expert Network on Africa. From 2011-2015, Raenette served as a member of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of South Africa, a constitutional office bearer position. From 2010-2015, Raenette taught Public Policy and International Relations at the University of Cape Town, and she consults privately on Politics and Public Policy, as well as defense and foreign policy issues.

 

 

 

 

 Kate True

Kate True

Kate True is an artist and curator who uses her experience as a filmmaker and portraitist to instil a dramatic sense of narrative in her work. She studied at Wesleyan University, where she received a BA with High Honors, and New York University where she received her MFA. Her films have been screened in festivals in New Orleans and Chicago as well as on television in the UK. Her drawings, prints, and paintings have been featured in galleries around the United States, and are in over 500 private collections nationally and internationally. True, a MA Cultural Council grant recipient for the exhibit “Little Women,” has curated four shows in the past decade. She is currently the principal organizer behind Nasty Women Boston, coming to Laconia Gallery Boston in September 2017. Kate lives and works in Boston, MA.

Christi van der Westhuizen

Christi van der Westhuizen

Prof. Christi van der Westhuizen (Ph.D.) is an author and political commentator. Her books include Sitting Pretty: White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa (forthcoming, 2017) and White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party (2007). She started her working life as a journalist at the anti-apartheid weekly Vrye Weekblad and was later appointed as Associate Editor at the global news agency Inter Press Service. Currently working as Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Pretoria, she has held research associateships with the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, Free State University and the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), University of Cape Town. She received the Mondi Paper Newspaper Award for her political columns and is a regular commentator in local and international media .


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