Sithembiso (Thembi) Sweswe
- Age: 28
- | She/her/hers
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
As young women, the greatest human right that we can be granted is the right to participation in the resolution of problems that affect us because we are experts of our own lives. If women stand up for women, and girls for girls, we can come together to challenge the status quo. Women's empowerment is the catalyst for activating change and making an impact in society.
- Sithembiso (Thembi) Sweswe
Sithembiso (Thembi) Sweswe was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She received a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Zimbabwe in 2018. As a Legal Officer, Legal Researcher, and Designed Safeguarding Leader at Care at the Core of Humanity, Thembi is responsible for legal advice, legal research, drafting defense outlines, stakeholder engagement, drafting proposals, offering legal aid services, lobbying for advocacy initiatives and awareness campaigns on SRHR, professional input during trainings, capacity buildings, development of articles and concept notes, dialogue sessions with community leaders, and development of referral pathways.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
Coming from a rural background where most girls are exposed to harmful practices such as as child marriages and sexual abuse gave me a desire to challenge to change status quo. Access to sanitary wear has been my greatest challenge from childhood, motivating me to make healthy sanitary wear and SRHR available to every child when given an opportunity.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
I initiated the Help Desk program, where I mobilized lawyers to provide free legal assistance to rural women and children. From 2019 to 2020, I managed to offer free legal aid to 115 girls and women through drafting court applications for gender-based violence cases and land dispute issues. More than 50 percent of the cases were successfully granted peace orders and protection orders, and 40 percent of the cases were granted maintenance.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
Watching human rights documentaries, fitness exercise, reading, and farming.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Ndebele (Advanced/Native)
- Shona (Advanced/Native)
- Zulu (Intermediate)
- adolescent girls' and young women's participation
- access to justice for young girls and women
- children's rights
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Executive Certificate in Project and Programme Monitoring and Evaluation from the University of Zimbabwe