Sonke Gender Justice is pleased to announce that Itumeleng Komanyane, Sonke’s International Programmes Network (IPN) Manager, has been selected as a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women – the branch of the United Nations that focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
UN Women draws on the experience, diverse expertise, outreach and knowledge of the members of its global, regional and national civil society advisory groups as it develops its strategies, advocacy initiatives, policies and programmes in consultation with civil society organizations. The advisory groups are meant to enhance collaboration between civil society and UN Women by fostering dialogue and engagement in order to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Komanyane will bring to the UN Women Regional Civil Society Advisory Group more than a decade of experience working on gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), youth development, and gender-based violence issues. She also offers a broad background in the work of engaging men and boys in gender equality promotion.
Komanyane has participated on many international platforms, including the African Youth Parliament, and she regularly participates in global dialogues such as CSW (the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women) and global HIV & AIDS conferences. She was part of Sonke’s delegation in London at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict earlier this month.
In 2001, Komanyane was awarded the Personal Development and Youth Leadership award by the Botswana National Youth Service, and in 2009, she received the Thari ya Sechaba award which honours women who have served as outstanding citizens and role models in Botswana.
Komanyane joined Sonke in 2012 as its International Gender-Based Violence Project Coordinator, working to engage men and boys to take an active stance to end violence against women in Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. As Sonke’s IPN Manager, Komanyane leads Sonke’s efforts to develop and support national, regional and international networks of civil society organisations’ capacity to advocate for, and take gender transformative work with men and boys to scale. She also manages Sonke’s initiatives to address gender-based violence in areas where there is, or has been, conflict. Komanyane works very closely with the MenEngage Alliance, a global alliance of more than 400 NGOs, of which Sonke is the steering committee co-chair. Komanyane also plays an important role in the MenEngage Africa Network, consisting of 12 networks across Africa, of which Sonke is the regional coordinator.