Founding Director / Executive Director
Biography of Melene Rossouw
Melene Rossouw is versatile, innovative and results-driven female professional with a broad skills-set. She is an attorney by profession with more than 12 years working experience in the legal, governmental and nongovernmental spheres. Some of the positions she has held were attorney, legal researcher, national cabinet committee secretary, special advisor to the minister, ministerial spokesperson, special projects manager and strategic partnerships and advocacy director. Melene has had the privilege of serving in respected offices such as The Constitutional Court of South Africa, Western Cape High Court, The Presidency of South Africa and two National Ministries. In 2017, Melene Co-Founded Women Lead Movement and currently serves as an Executive Director in the organisation.
Melene graduated from the University of the Western Cape with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Master of Laws (LL.M) specialising in the area of Public and Constitutional Law. Her dissertation focussed on Human Rights in particular Public Participation and the progressive realisation of Socio-Economic Rights.
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 in the area of Governance and Human Rights in Africa. 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. In 2019, she was also selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow by the US Department of State as well as Goodwill Ambassador for the World Youth Summit for Peace by the International Human Rights Commission.
Melene is passionate about community development and gender and human rights activism. Her vision is to promote a gender equal society and an active and engaged citizenry. Her objective is to utilize her skills and experience to drive social, political and economic empowerment initiatives in local communities aimed at educating and capacitating women and girls to lead social change at grassroots level and advocating for women’s rights and gender equality.
Through her work she envisage her impact to be: increased leadership, skillfulness and self confidence of women and girls; increased knowledge and understanding of human rights and the impact of gender discrimination; increased participation and representation of women in local government, community-based organizations, existing community structures and decision-making processes; educated and capacitated women and girls on the frontlines advocating and campaigning in schools and the community for women’s rights and the elimination of GBV; and organized impactful community activities through established Women Community Forums.
The values that underlie her work are transformation, human rights, social justice, equality and empowerment. Melene contributes towards the achievement of SDG’s 5, 10 and 16
Director: Corporate Services
Biography of Kim Williams
Kim Williams obtained her LL. B degree from the University of the Western Cape in 2008. Thereafter, she served as law researcher to Former Justice Albie Sachs at the Constitutional Court. After her term at the Constitutional Court, Kim was awarded the prestigious Franklin Thomas & Ismail Mahomed Scholarship which presented her with the opportunity to obtain her LL.M degree in International Human Rights Law.
At Notre Dame University, Indiana US. This experience enhanced her human rights knowledge and equipped her with a greater understanding of the domestic, regional and international human rights frameworks; exposed her to the manner and the measures adopted by other countries in order to promote, protect and implement human rights and enabled her to assess the degree of State compliance and to identify the extent of the work yet to be done and, moreover, reinforced her own personal consciousness and duty to make a valuable contribution thereto Kim completed her LL.M in 2010 (magna cum laude) and commenced articles at Werksmans Attorneys during 2011.
She was admitted as an Attorney in 2013 and subsequently appointed as an Associate with the firm. Over the last 5 years, Kim has gained exposure in various legal issues and gained extensive work experience in the following areas: legal research, legal and contractual drafting, vetting and overall advisory skills in the firm’s litigation, corporate & commercial and property law departments.
Director: Strategic Partnerships and Communication
Biography of Yolanda Petersen
Ms Yolanda Petersen – Director: Strategic Partnerships and Communications.
Yolanda is a seasoned Marketing and Communications specialist having worked for renowned Advertising Agencies ( from the oldest in the world to the largest in Africa)
She is also the Director and Founding member of YP.com. A company geared towards skills development, mentoring and facilitating projects in and amongst the Youth of South Africa, with a special focus on the girl-child/ women
Yolanda is a public speaker that steers topical discussions on issues facing the girl-child and women of this country. She also has a passion for community development and empowement, especially her own community, the broader Cape Town metropole and South Africa at large. Yolanda is active in the NPO / NGO sector leading strategic projects.