Ms. Melene Rossouw
(LL.B LL.M, Admitted Attorney in the High Court of South Africa)
Executive Director
Women Lead Movement

Melene is an internationally recognised gender and human rights activist, global award winner, public speaker, moderator, facilitator, strategist and change-driver. She is an attorney by profession with 13 years working experience in the legal, governmental and nongovernmental spheres.

Some of the positions she has held were attorney, legal researcher, national cabinet committee secretary, special advisor to the minister, ministerial media spokesperson, special projects manager and legal and policy manager. Melene has served in respected offices such as The Constitutional Court of South Africa, Western Cape High Court, The Presidency of South Africa and two National Government Ministries. In 2017, Melene Co-Founded Women Lead Movement and currently serves as the Executive Director of the organisation which has recently expanded its footprint to Madagascar.

Melene graduated from the University of the Western Cape with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Master of Laws (LL.M) specialising in the area of Public and Constitutional Law. Her dissertation focussed on Public Participation and the progressive realisation of Socio-Economic Rights.

Some of her accolades include being selected by the prestigious Obama Foundation as an Obama Leader in Africa (2018). She is also a contributor for the Future Africa Forum in the area of Governance and Human Rights in Africa for the last three years. In 2019, Melene was selected as one of 11 Spokeswomen in Africa for the Global Campaign on Gender Equality by the US based ONE Global Campaign. In 2019, she was also selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow by the US Department of State as well as Goodwill Ambassador for the World Youth Summit for Peace by the International Human Rights Commission. Melene is also a member of the African Women Leadership Network, which is a movement supported by UN Women and the African Union. In 2020, Melene was selected as a Junior Chamber International Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World honouree. Melene is also an Associate Member of the Public Speaking Association of Southern Africa.

She is passionate about gender and human rights activism. Her vision is to promote a gender equal society and an active and participatory citizenry. Her objective is to utilize her skills and expertise to drive social, political and economic transformation in communities. The values that underlie her work are transformation, human rights, social justice, equality and empowerment.