Judge Edwin Cameron

Chancellor: Stellenbosch University
Keynote & Welcome Address

Edwin Cameron (born 15 February 1953 in Pretoria) is a retired judge who served as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He is well known for his HIV/AIDS and gay-rights activism and was hailed by Nelson Mandela as “one of South Africa’s new heroes”. President Ramaphosa appointed him as Inspecting Judge of Correctional Services from January 2020 and in October 2019 he was elected Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. “I’m inspired daily by the idea that each of us can, practically and beneficially, make a difference to our own lives and the lives of others.” Justice Edwin Cameron is widely recognised for his brilliance and his commitment to human rights and social justice and is considered one of South Africa’s most prominent and distinguished judicial figures. An alumnus of Stellenbosch University (SU), and a recipient of an honorary doctorate from this institution for his “unstinting professional and personal advocacy for the recognition of every person’s dignity, freedom and equality”, Cameron is the 15th Chancellor of SU. As the first South African in a high-profile public office speaking openly about his HIV status and experience taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), Cameron has made a credible and crucial contribution to more accessible ARV treatment for all South Africans living with HIV. His international impact as top jurist with nearly 200 published judgments against his name, acclaimed author and popular speaker is evident from the numerous awards and distinctions he has received, among them the Nelson Mandela award. Other accolades include recognition by the Bar of England and Wales for his contribution to international jurisprudence and the protection of human rights, and the prestigious Grand Prix du Conseil Québécois des Gais et Lesbiennes award bestowed on him in Montreal. His approach to handling difficult situations is premised on two principles that he holds dear: integrity and preparation. He has helped develop South African law so as to truly reflect the fundamental values of the Constitution and is a key player in South African and international law.

Professor Amina Mama

Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies University of California, Davis, USA
Intellectual activism at the margins: Feminist African strategies

Known as a transdisciplinary feminist, rooted in transnational and intersectional analytics, Prof Amina Mama was the 4th Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies at the University of Ghana, and currently teaches at the University of California, Davis. There she revitalized one of the oldest women’s studies programs in the United States to become a full Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Previously Professor Mama held the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership at Mills—the first person to hold this position. From 1999-2009 she spent almost a decade at the University of Cape Town, where she served as the director of the African Gender Institute (AGI) and co-founded the continental gender studies journal, Feminist Africa. Mama has served as Chair of the board of directors for the Global Fund for Women, as a member of the boards of directors of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the United Nations Committee on Development Policy. She serves on the advisory board for the feminist academic journals Meridians and Signs. Her best known book is Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity. In 2010, she co-produced the feature documentary The Witches of Gambaga with Yaba Badoe, and in 2016, executive produced The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo. Native to Nigeria, Prof Mama has always sought opportunities for rigorous collaborative intellectual work on academic, policy, and research projects about the socio-political transformation of women’s lives.

Professor Dorrit Posel

School of Economics and Finance, Feminist Economist Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, SA
Who cares? Gender differences in labour and well-being in South Africa

Dorrit (Dori) Posel specialises in applied micro-economic research, exploring the interface between households and labour markets. Dori is an elected member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, a fellow of the Centre of Excellence in Human Development, and an associate editor of the journal Feminist Economics. She has published widely on issues related to marriage and family formation, labour migration, labour force participation and the gender division of labour, the economics and demographics of language use, and measures of well-being. From 2007 to 2015, Dori held an NRF/DST Research Chair in economic development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). In 2016, she moved to the University of the Witwatersrand as a distinguished professor and to take up the Helen Suzman chair.

Professor Kopano Ratele

Professor of Psychology Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Why we do not care for those who care for us: A dream on transforming masculinities

Professor Ratele is a South African psychologist in men and masculinities studies scholar. His work revolves around two nodes: critical men and masculinity studies on one hand, and critical and cultural African psychological studies on the other. Much of his thinking, writing, research, and public engagement activities directly or indirectly flow out of and into these two fields of enquiry. Prof Ratele is passionate about the dissemination of scholarly work via non-academic channels such as the print and broadcast media, a documentary film, short videos. He used to co-host a weekly radio show on Cape Talk called ‘Cape Dads’ with Koketso Sachane and Mbuyiselo Botha. His scholarship has enabled him to fill many roles including being able to serve as a member of the Ministerial Committee on Transformation in South African Universities, convener of the National Research Foundation’s Specialist Committee for Psychology Rating Panel, president of the Psychological Society of South Africa, and former chairperson of Sonke Gender Justice.