Policy Development and Advocacy (PDA)
Marlise Richter is the head of Sonke’s Policy, Development and Advocacy Unit. She oversees Sonke’s projects on prison reform advocacy, the decriminalisation of sex work, advocacy efforts towards a National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence, and the Sonke-UCLA Health and Human Rights LLM fellowship programme. She serves on the steering committees of the Asijiki Coalition for the Decriminalisation of Sex work as well as the Hate Crimes Working Group.
Marlise has worked in health and human rights focused organisations for many years and in a number of different key national NGOs. She worked as a researcher at Project Literacy, the AIDS Law Project, the Treatment Action Campaign and the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit.She holds a BA (Hons) and LLM degree from Wits University, and completed an MA in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame (USA) as a Fulbright scholar. In 2013, she graduated with a PhD in public health from the International Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Ghent (Belgium) on sex worker access to health care services in sub-Saharan Africa. She has published in the areas of law, bioethics, gender, migration and public health, while also writing popular pieces for the Daily Maverick and Ground-Up. She is currently a visiting researcher at the School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town and at the African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University, where she pursues her research and advocacy interests in feminism, human rights and HIV/AIDS, with a particular focus on sex work and gender based violence. She is also involved in campaigns on animal rights, urban greening (particularly Guerrilla Gardening) and ethical food-production.