Sizani Ngubane is a leader in rural women’s rights and has spent her life fighting for gender equality in South Africa.
The founder of the Rural Women’s Movement stated, “I said to myself, when I grow up I’m going to be part of the people who are going to fight against this oppression and discrimination of indigenous people.
When Ngubane was 10, she and her family were evicted from their home, because their eldest child was a woman.
She explained, “To this day, women are still not allocated land in their own right as women. They have to be represented by their male relative which could even mean a grandson. If one doesn’t have land, it means one would not have access to food.”
At 15 she got involved with a grassroots movement to “mobilize and organize people underground very quietly.” In 1994, she helped form the Rural Women’s Movement which, today, has more than 50,000 indigenous women and girls involved, focusing on gender-based violence, access to education, HIV/AIDS, food sovereignty and land right. RWN also plans to open an agricultural skills training center. She was also honored as NGO CSW 2018 Woman of Distinction.
“I always believe that if I’m talking the truth before the authorities, nothing will happen to me. I believe in the truth.” Ngubane explained.