Josina Machel holds an MSc degree in Sociology (Gender) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Social Science, Sociology and Political Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Following a horrific domestic violence attack that left her blind in one eye, Ms. Machel founded the Kuhluka Movement, a non-profit initiative that empowers women survivors of Gender – based violence, to which she dedicates her life.
She is also the founder and director of Protect Her Life, an insurance company that seeks to support th e safety of women who are subjected to unprecedented levels of gender-based violence. The company provides easily accessible toolsto use in the event of abuse or an emergency, by providing comprehensive insurance and emergency assistance packages specially designed for women. The cover is underwritten by Capital Alliance, a division of the Liberty Life group.
Josina Machel was recently elected to be the representative of Survivors of Violence, Mozambique, in the National Reference Group – Civil Society for the new global Spotlight Initiative, a new multi-year initiative by the EU and the UN which seeks to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) and to bring focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the Centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
She was nominated as the inaugural member of the Mama Albertina Sisulu 100 Women of Fortitude. A group of 100 inspirational women who lead the campaign to encourage and revitalize the current generation of South Africans to continue MaSisulu’s legacy of activism to better our nation. This campaign will use the stories of the past and present heroines to inspire other women to take charge of their own development.
The UNFPA has appointed her as a Celebrity Spokesperson for the SADC region. At the same time, she is one of the GBV Main Ambassador’s for the Ministry of Higher Education in SA.
In 2018, Ms. Machel co-founded with other professionals, of the SOZO network, which has as primary purpose the providing a “Safe Haven” for woman within the professional arena who are faced with the trauma of domestic and emotional abuse.
She has extensive experience in advocacy, political advisory and management of projects on gender-based violence, Human development and Gender equality in the private and public sectors in SADC and international level.
Her career started in 2001, when she joined Anglo-American, as its Human Resources Officer, where she was extensively involved in providing policy and strategic insight on issues such asHIV, Wellness and employment equity.
Josina Machel later joined the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA), where she was involved in working towards enhancing governance and AIDS programmes, by providing research and analyses around those two specific issues. During this time, she led the programme to address the role of political actors in the AIDS pandemic space.
In 2007, Ms. Machel started a consulting and training company Pfukani (Ltd) – the first company in Mozambique to design, coordinate and manage wellness and communication tools for HIV/Aids. Kuhluka Movement
The Kuhluka Movement which Ms. Machel founded in 2016 on the principles of advocacy and mitigation, bridges the gap between giving a voice to women survivors, whilst providing them with a safe haven in their time of need. Kuhluka provides a platform to engage and provide practical solutions to addressing gender-based violence. The movement focuses on preventative measures to stop gender-based violence by bringing custodians of culture together to interrogate practices and traditions that perpetrate gender-based violence, and spark conversations for traditional leaders, men across communities to being to questions the behaviors that foster an environment that tolerates violence towards women.
Kuhluka Movement aims to provide shelters and a safe haven for women transitioning from abusive relationships to healing and living independent of abusive partners.
Ms. Machel is also a motivational speaker on a number of issues aligned to the work of Kuhluka, including the following subjects:
- Leadership and women development
- GBV: ‘I may have lost my eye, but I have not lost my vision’
- Economic and financial costs of GBV to business and countries
- Healing and Regeneration: Overcoming adversity
- Building Social Movements
- Cultural practices and the role of traditional leaders in changing community narratives
Resulting from the work in which Ms. Machel has been involved with the Kuhluka Movement, she has won a number of awards for her contributions towards advocacy against gender-based violence, including the following awards:
- Soho Trailblazer Award (USA)
- Fabulous Women Resilience Award (South Africa)
- Game Changer Award (USA)