2018 Woman of Distinction Award

Sizani Ngubane

Sizani Ngubane, co-founder of the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM), 2018 Woman of Distinction

The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York (NGO CSW/NY-a coalition of hundreds of organizations and individuals working within the United Nations community to advance gender equality and empowerment) is proud to announce Sizani Ngubane, co-founder of the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM), South Africa, as the 2018 Woman of Distinction. Ms. Ngubane will be the keynote speaker for the NGO CSW62 Forum which is organized parallel to the UN’s annual Commission on the Status of Women (the largest annual gathering at the United Nations) March 11-23, 2018.

The award is given by NGO CSW/NY is recognition of outstanding work and accomplishment in advancing the women’s agenda. This year’s honoree provided solutions to the issues facing rural women and girls from violence to customary laws and practices that impede their rights to economic empowerment and obtaining full human rights. In 1990, Sizani Ngubane co-founded the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM) as an organization by rural women for rural women. Today RWM is a coalition of more than 500 community based organizations comprised with a membership of 50,000 indigenous women and girls. This grassroots movement led an intensive campaign for women and girls’ independent land, property and inheritance rights by providing advocacy training and lobbying National Parliament and policy-makers for policies that are friendly to indigenous and rural women and girls. Additionally, RWM provides women training in farming, establishing land rights, networking to deal with crises and countering corruption.

Sizani, through her tireless efforts, is championing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality, in all of RWM’s projects and is using it as a powerful tool for change. RWM’s results have reduced transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy , maternal mortality and eliminated abduction and forced marriages of girls in two communities. NGO CSW/NY is proud to amplify Sizani Ngubane’s voice at the United Nations– to ensure that “no one is left behind”.