Lesley Ann Foster 2018

Dr Lesley Ann Foster is the founder and executive director of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Masimanyane Women’s Rights International based in East London. Masimanyane’s mission is to eradicate gender-based violence in order to achieve a healthy, safe, secure, equal, responsible and supportive society for all women and girl children.

Dr Foster’s work extends across 26 African countries in her capacity as President of Amanitare Sexual Rights Network. She is also on the board of the NGO International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP). Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, IWRAW AP works across 122 countries and premised on the universal nature of human rights, focuses its work particularly on the experiences of women from the global South.

Dr Foster’s is an indefatigable activist and advocates for gender equality on public platforms across a broad spectrum, most recently making a submission to the Women's Charter Review Conference in the SA Parliament in August 2018.

​At a professional level she works tirelessly and consistently to build women’s knowledge and understanding of themselves and of their potential to be change agents in their own lives and in that of other women. Driven by a need to fight inequality and injustices of any kind she is dedicated to supporting women in their life journeys of transformation and liberation.

She states publicly that as an African feminist, her personal vision is to work towards a world where all women are free and enjoy all their human rights. Honesty and integrity, fairness and justice are what she values most.

Acknowledging her extensive contribution to social inclusion and changing the lives of women and children affected by gender based violence, the Nelson Mandela University Council is honoured to present Dr Lesley Ann Foster, with a Council Prestige Award, believing that she serves an inspiration to our students and staff, especially those who are the survivors of gender-based violence and oppression.