Pregs Govender

Pregs Govender is a feminist human rights activist and author of Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination. She is respected for her contribution to advancing women's rights in South Africa and internationally. Govender initiated SA's globally influential ‘Women’s Budget’ through SA Parliament's 1994 budget debates and steered its political impact on the 1999 Budget, she was the only MP to oppose the arms deal in SA's Defence Budget Vote. As Chair of Parliament's Women's Committee, JMCIQLSW, Govender chaired public hearings on HIV/AIDS when government's denial of treatment resulted in numerous deaths, her report to the African National Congress Caucus broke its silence on treatment and in the month she resigned as an MP in 2002, Government's turnaround statement included all three of the JMCIQLSW report's recommendations. Her work as a writer, educator and strategist is infused with insights from her activism and yoga practice. From the mid-70's to the 80's, Govender learnt about feminism and solidarity in student and women's movements, including as Natal Organisation of Women media co-ordinator and as a founding member of Speak.

After graduating in 1981 Govender worked as a high-school and university teacher and a researcher before joining SA's majority-women clothing union. Elected national educator in 1987, her education program contributed to women being elected into leadership of the union and a mandate from 100 000 racially divided workers to join the non-racial federation, The Congress of South African Trade Unions and become The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union. Govender subsequently led the Worker's College at the University of the Western Cape, that produced worker leader graduates. During SA's transition between 1992 and 1994, Govender managed the Women's National Coalition campaign for a Women's Charter of Effective Equality; the WNC was a cross-party coalition, initiated by women in the ANC. It involved 90 national hundreds of local organisations; the WNC's public education, participatory research and media campaign mobilised 2 million women who ensured political will for women's rights in SA's Constitution.

During the campaign,'women's issues' in hard-news went from zero to daily coverage. In 1994, Govender co-edited SA's country report to the 1995 Beijing Conference and served on leadership structures that established the National Gender Machinery and the national empowerment policy framework. During her term, the JMCIQLSW ensured that 80% of its feminist legislative priorities, including the Domestic Violence Act, the Customary Marriages Act, the Child Maintenance Act and changes to labour laws advancing women's rights in the workplace were enacted. In 1996, Govender declined to be the ANC's woman speaker of government's neo-liberal economic policy launch in parliament and her pro-choice abortion speech received a standing ovation. Commenting on Govender's career as an MP, political scientist Tom Lodge said, "In 2001, the most independent ANC parliamentary initiatives were to be found in the joint monitoring committee on the status of women, chaired by Pregs Govender, which challenged government on spending priorities and Aids policy.

In 2001, Govender abstained from voting on the defence budget. Such assertive behaviour may become exceptional." Govender's clarity in the face of former President Thabo Mbeki’s HIV/Aids denialism during her tenure as an MP is respected. Author and journalist Mark Gevisser explained in 2007 how, “Only one elected ANC representative, Pregs Govender, the chair of a parliamentary committee on the status of women and publicly criticised Mbeki, and behind closed doors only one or two people had the courage to tell Mbeki they thought he was wrong.” In 2007, Govender was elected Chair of the Independent Panel Assessment of Parliament, which proposed stronger oversight and electoral reform. As Commissioner for the South African Human Rights Commission and as its Deputy Chair, Govender drove implementation of SAHRC findings at local and provincial level, she secured a country-wide status report and action plan from the Presidency on water and sanitation. This is still used by organisations and the media to monitor government implementation and raise awareness of corporate accountability for water pollution and theft.

Govender works as an consultant. She wrote the concept note and facilitated the South African Parliament's first Africa-wide conference on gender and economics. For the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s first global conference on HIV and AIDS, Govender wrote a concept paper on the role of MPs in ensuring affordable medicine, she facilitated the International Feminist University Network’s Curriculum Workshop on Feminism and Globalisation. She has conducted local and international workshops on using the power of love and courage to be insubordinate to injustice, including teaching practical skills in relation to gender budgets and policy. Govender’s voluntary contributions include being patron of Gun-free SA and on the global Panel on Human Dignity, her awards include the Ashoka Fellowship, an honorary doctorate in Law and one in Philosophy, the inaugural Ruth First fellowship for courageous writing and activism, the Thousand Currents Artist in Residence, the International Association for Women’s Rights in Development Inspiration Award for her “initiative and unrelenting commitment have made a significant impact in advancing gender equality and social justice around the world”.

Govender has written over 300 speeches, media articles, reports and


Qiushi is a bi-monthly political theory periodical published by the Central Party School and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. It is the Communist Party's main theoretical journal; the headquarters is in Beijing. Founded on 1 July 1988 the magazine replaced the journal Red Flag of Mao Zedong, which Deng Xiaoping shut down in light of China's changing political climate and the Communist Party distancing itself from the Cultural Revolution in favour of a Reform and Opening, its goal is "to publicize the governing philosophy of the CPC" with content that reports on political, economic and social issues, while providing analysis of world politics and China's foreign relations". About 60% of its articles are written by political leaders. Qiushi is circulated amongst high-level Communist Party officials; the title originates from the quote shí shì qiú shì, which means "seeking truth from facts". The journal's logo is the handwriting of Deng Xiaoping. Qiushi established its website on 1 July 2009, launched an English-language edition on 1 October 2009.

In 2010 it reported a circulation of 1.26 million in regions. It had "a domestic circulation of over 1 million for 14 consecutive years". In January 2015 Qiushi published an article written by the Communist party official Xu Lan which criticized university professors for "spreading Western values" among Chinese youth. On 15 February 2020, Qiushi documented a January 7 order by Xi Jinping, China's leader and General Secretary of the Communist Party at the time, regarding the Covid-19 outbreak at a Politburo Standing Committee meeting. People's Daily Kulloja Official website Official website, English edition