Sisonke Msimang

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Sisonke Msimang "is the Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). After obtaining a BA in Political Science and Communication Studies at Macalester College in the United States in 1994, Sisonke began her career, working with the Minnesota AIDS Project, as a researcher. She then worked as a research assistant on a project aimed at improving maternal health in poor communities in inner city Oakland, California. Sisonke then returned to South Africa (her country of citizenship) in 1997 and worked for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), managing a capacity-building programme that was set up to provide technical assistance to newly-established government departments in post-apartheid South Africa. In 2000, Sisonke began a stint at the African Gender Institute (AGI), based at the University of Cape Town where she served as Programme Officer. As the officer responsible for the Transformation Programme, Sisonke trained NGO staff and public servants on issues of gender equity, working to develop strategies for delivering services to the poorest and most socially marginalised in society. It was during this period that Sisonke read for her MA in Political Studies at the University of Cape Town, which included a thesis analysing women’s health activism and policy during and after the democratic transition in South Africa. Sisonke then joined the United Nations Women’s Development Fund (UNIFEM), working within the Fund’s Human Rights and HIV and AIDS Programme based in New York. The most recent position Sisonke held before joining OSISA was that of Gender Advisor for East and Southern Africa at UNAIDS, based in Johannesburg. Sisonke has also published a number of articles and book chapters on gender, HIV and AIDS and human rights, including in publications such as the southern African feminist journal AGENDA, Oxfam’s Gender and Development and Interfund’s quarterly journal Development Update." [1]

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  1. Sisonke Msimang, genderjustice, accessed June 11, 2009.
  2. African Advisory Board, Stephen Lewis Foundation, accessed June 11, 2009.