Dora Nkem Akunyili

Dora was born in Benue State, Nigeria. She was a globally acclaimed pharmacist, technocrat, erudite scholar and community leader.

Dora’s revolutionary work created a paradigm shift in the Nigerian public service when she served as Director General of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from 2001-2008. She spearheaded reforms in policy and regulatory enforcement that radically reduced the measure of fake drugs that plagued the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector during her tenure.

Efua Dorkenoo

Affectionately known as “Mama Efua”, her work to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) movement spanned three decades and helped bring international attention and action to end this harmful practice.

In 1983 Efua co-founded FORWARD (The Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development), which became a leading organisation in the battle to raise awareness about FGM. Her 1994 book, “Cutting the Rose: Female Genital Mutilation,” is considered the first on FGM and, featured in Columbia University’s “Africa’s 100 Best Books for the 20th Century”.

Stella Mukasa

Stella began her career at the Ministry of Gender and Community Development in Uganda engaging with policymakers for law reform, including the 1995 Ugandan Constitution, which established some of the most progressive reforms for women in the region.

She is revered throughout the region for her tireless efforts to create and enforce gender-responsive laws and policies. She played a key role in drafting Uganda’s Domestic Violence Act and in mobilizing support for gender-responsive constitutions in both Uganda and in Rwanda.

Kagendo Murungi

Kagendo is remembered fondly by family and friends as a fierce African feminist activist, artist, and filmmaker.

She dedicated over 20 years to advocate for the rights and dignity of African LGBTIQ and gender non conforming people.

Kagendo’s colleagues remember her as someone with a jovial personality, fierce conviction, and love for life. Kagendo died due to natural causes at her home in Harlem on December 27th, 2017.

Lara Kruger

Lara was a well-known and loved radio DJ on Motsweding FM in South Africa.

Lara was one of the first openly-transgender radio hosts on a mainstream station. She worked hard to shine a light on LGBTI issues.

Lara’s activism started at a young age when she would vocally defend her right to dress and behave as she felt comfortable to members of her community who didn’t yet understand what it meant to be transgender.


Ottilie Abrahams

Ottilie was a Namibian feminist activist, educator and politician.

Ottilie was one of the founders of the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO), the Yu Chi Chan Club (an armed revolutionary group); and the South West African National Liberation Front (SWANLIF). She was also a founder of the Namibian Women’s Association and Girl Child Project.

Jacqueline Coulibaly Ki-Zerbo

Jacqueline was a pioneering Malian/Burkinabe feminist, nationalist and educator.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie has been described as a “militant firebrand activist” who fought the apartheid regime in South Africa.

She was imprisoned multiple times, and on many occasions placed in solitary confinement.

Obiageli “Oby” Nwankwo

With a legal career spanning more than 30 years, Oby was known across Africa and around the world as a champion for gender justice and human rights.

She founded and served as Executive Director of the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), a Nigerian NGO which sponsors trainings and network-building activities for members of civil society, parliamentarians and other key stakeholders to promote human rights, good governance and access to justice and rule of law.

Leticia Eulalia Mary Mukasa- Kikonyogo

Leticia was a Ugandan lawyer and judge.

Prior to her retirement, she held many high profile positions including member of the Court of Appeal of Uganda and Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda. She was the first Ugandan woman to hold the position of Chief Magistrate between 1973 and 1986 and the first woman to be appointed High court judge in 1986.

She was one of the first ever women papal knights in the history of the Catholic Church in Africa. She died of a heart attack.