Ms Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge


Senior Research Fellow

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge has long played a prominent role in South African public affairs. Active in the national liberation movement she was Chairperson of the United Democratic Front-aligned Natal Organisation of Women, was a member of the executive of the Women’s National Coalition, and a member of the South African Transitional Executive Council sub-council on the Status of Women. She co-founded Embrace Dignity, the now long-running women’s human rights organization advocating for law reform to end sex trafficking and the demand for prostitution.  In 1994 she became an African National Congress (ANC) Member of the National Assembly.

She is a former Chair of ANC’s Parliamentary Caucus, led the first South African Parliamentary delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, was Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Minister of Defence, and Deputy Minister of Health. In these capacities she established, inter alia, the African Women’s peace table; developed the policy on developmental peacekeeping; and promoted evidence-based medical treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, and served on the parliamentary and government committees which drew up the outlines for a National Health Insurance Plan.

Through these leadership roles she established and retains close links to a range of foreign governmental agencies, universities, philanthropic organisations, and international non-governmental organisations concerned with gender, health and human rights issues.

She has primary diploma and degree qualifications in microbiology and medical laboratory technology from the State Pathology Laboratory Services and social sciences and higher education from the University of Natal, and a BSocSci (Hons) Philosophy from the University of Cape Town. She is a recipient of the Tanenbaum Peacemakers Award, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Haverford College, Pennsylvania.