Skip to Main Navigation

Gender-based violence (GBV) represents a critical barrier to development globally. In Eastern and Southern Africa, 42% of women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes. The impact extends far beyond individual survivors, with implications for the productivity and well-being of families and communities, often across generations. It impedes women’s participation in education and the labor market and is costing economies up to 4% of GDP.

Follow an intriguing conversation with renowned African GBV survivors and activists who shared their journeys in fighting this global pandemic. They were joined by a World Bank country director, who was involved in gender equality programming in the region.

This is the moment to stand up against GBV and double down on our commitment and actions towards preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, once and for all.


 Josina Z. Machel, Human Rights Activist and GBV Survivor 

Josina Machel is a human rights activist from Mozambique listed in the BBC's 100 Women list for 2020. She comes from a notable family background, with her parents being Samora Machel, the first independent president of Mozambique, and Graça Machel, a renowned humanitarian and politician. Her stepfather was Nelson Mandela.

Josina's journey as an activist followed a traumatic incident of domestic violence, resulting in the loss of vision in one eye. In response to this, she founded the Kuhluka Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women who have survived gender-based violence (GBV). Furthermore, she established Protect Her Life, an insurance company that aims to support the safety and well-being of women facing unprecedented levels of GBV.

Josina has extensive expertise in advocacy, political advisory, and project management related to GBV, human development, and gender equality. She has worked in the private and public sectors within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and internationally. Recognizing her influence and impact, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has appointed Josina as a Celebrity Spokesperson for the SADC region. Additionally, she serves as one of the main GBV Ambassadors for the Ministry of Higher Education's "Higher Health Programme" in South Africa.


 Drucila Meireles, GBV Survivor and Activist 

Drucila Meireles is a survivor of gender-based violence (GBV) and an activist based in Maputo, Mozambique. She is the founder of Kusimudzana, a community-based feminist organization located in Manica Province. Kusimudzana focuses on raising awareness and seeking legal justice for cases of sexual and gender-based violence.

Miss Meireles's exceptional work led her to participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in 2015, held in Newark, USA. During this program, she received training and certification in Civic Leadership. Following her training, she interned at the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the USA.

In recognition of her contributions, Miss Meireles was honored with the Queen Elizabeth II Young Leaders Award in 2016 for her work with Kusimudzana. Additionally, from 2019 to 2023, she served as a member of the Civil Society National Reference Group for the Spotlight Initiative and EU-UN partnership to end violence against women and girls.

Miss Meireles has extensive experience in various areas, including gender-based violence, child protection, sexual and reproductive health and rights, psychosocial support, coaching, community awareness, youth participation, engaging men to end GBV, and counseling. She has volunteered and worked as an assessor in numerous projects focusing on GBV and women's rights.

Currently, Miss Meireles serves as a National Technical Advisor for the international NGO Terre des Hommes.

The World Bank
 Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, Country Director, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros & Seychelles, World Bank

Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, a Zimbawean national, has since joining the Bank in 1995 as a Young Professional worked in four different regions; South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East and North and Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her most recent appointment was in South Asia as Country Director for Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Operational Services from 2012 to 2014, where she also supervised teams covering operations in financial management and procurement. She has also held various operational and corporate management positions, including Director of Strategy and Operations, in the Human Resources Vice Presidency.


 Edith Jibunoh, Manager, External Affairs, Eastern and Southern Africa

Ms. Jibunoh, a Nigerian national, is the External and Corporate Relations (ECR) Manager for East and Southern Africa, a role she assumed after completing roles as ECR Manager in the Infrastructure Practice Group and ECR’s Global Stakeholder Engagement Adviser.

Prior to this, Edith served as Global Policy Director at the ONE Campaign where she worked on advocacy, policy, and stakeholder engagement, and in several positions in the Nigerian government including Chief of Staff and Adviser on International and Bilateral Relations to Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, and Economist in the MDG Office of the Nigerian Presidency. Earlier in her career, she worked in the Bank’s East Asia and Pacific region as well as the UN Office in New York.

Ms. Jibunoh’s priorities include i) providing strategic communication, stakeholder outreach and reputation risk management advice to the leadership of the East & Southern Africa Region; (ii) leading the development of coordinated communication and partner engagement strategies across the region and working with corporate units; and (iii) creating a culture of teamwork, innovation, client orientation and talent management.