Itumeleng Komanyane was the International Programme’s Manager at Sonke Gender Justice and oversaw Sonke’s work in eighteen countries across East, Southern, Central and West Africa to advance gender equality and address HIV and AIDS. Itumeleng has more than fifteen years experience working on health and human rights. Her work focused on social justice, gender equality, HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health and rights, women’s rights, masculinities, youth leadership and community development. At Sonke she initially coordinated a multi-country project funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women which focused on increasing support amongst men and boys for the full implementation of laws and policies intended to address GBV in Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. More recently she coordinated the MenEngage Africa Alliance, working with dozens of civil society organisations across the continent. In this capacity she spearheaded the development and implementation of the prestigious MenEngage Africa Training Initiative which has now provided intensive residential training on engaging men for gender equality and women’s empowerment to emerging gender activists from all over the region.
She counts her work as Botswana’s youth ambassador to the Youth AGAINST AIDS (YAA) network and the Global Youth Coalition against AIDS (GYCA) as one of the key highlights of her work in the HIV and AIDS field. She is a three-time scholarship recipient of the IAS youth fund and has also worked as a member of the Community Advisory Board supporting the Prep studies in Botswana including representing the voices of young people at the IAS Industry Liaison forum on PReP. Owing to her work on HIV and AIDS in Botswana, she was recognised with a youth award for youth leadership and personal development in 2002. She works closely with many UN agencies and serves as a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women. She is also a member of the advisory council to the Nobel Women’s Initiative Global Campaign to Stop Rape in Conflict. She is a fellow of the Australian Africa Aid programme and a member of the MenEngage Global Alliance Board.