RTI International to host conference on ending gender inequalities in South Africa

September 5, 2018

RTI International will host the “Ending Gender Inequalities: Evidence to Impact” conference on October 8 – 9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference will bring together world-renowned gender experts to share the impact of innovative current research aimed at eliminating gender inequality around the world. South African journalist, radio personality, and best-selling author Redi Tlhabi will serve as the conference emcee.

In addition to dynamic keynote speakers, the conference will include engaging symposiums, panel sessions, and networking opportunities with partners from the World Bank, UN Women, Open Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, FHI 360, the National Institutes of Health, Ford Foundation, the South African Medical Research Council, Human Sciences Research Council, Stellenbosch University, and other African organizations. The conference is designed to share what is currently working in the field and to facilitate future scientific collaborations.

“We all have a responsibility to bring about greater change to end gender inequality across all realms in life” noted conference chair Wendee Wechsberg, PhD, director of RTI’s Global Gender Center and director of the Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research Division. “This conference will allow us to gather our experiences, our research and our stories, and help us find new and effective ways to bring societal and structural change to eliminate these inequalities.”

Keynote speakers will include Glenda Gray, an internationally known South African pioneer in HIV research who was recognized as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2017, and Nice Nailantei Leng’ete who ended the traditional Maasai practice of female genital mutilation and early marriage in Kenya. Time magazine named Ms. Leng’ete one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2018. Also from South Africa will be Grizelda Grootboom, a human trafficking survivor and author of the memoir Exit! And from the US, Nabila El-Bassel, Professor of Social Work at Columbia University, will present a global perspective on refugee women.

Attendees will also learn from panel discussions like “Time’s Up! Beyond Me Too” and symposiums on such key topics as keeping girls in school, reaching boys and men on gender equality, reproductive health care, and women’s access to HIV treatment.

“Ending Gender Inequalities” will be held at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Johannesburg. A full list of symposium speakers, panelists, and other special guests as well as information on attending the conference are available here.

Health & Wellness Ending Gender Violence Educating Girls & Women Economic Empowerment


Wendee Wechsberg

“We must listen to the communities, the local people, to understand culturally what is going to fit and what is going to be the language of the research, and not just say we know what to do here.”

Felicia Browne

"I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work on applied, gender-focused projects in the community in which I grew up, in hopes of having an impact on HIV, STIs and other health outcomes among African-American adolescent girls and young women."

Doris Rouse

"What I have especially found rewarding is to bring together the skills, the resources, and the wisdom of industry and universities and government agencies in a way that they work together."