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Bernedette Muthien

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Bernedette Muthien

Commissioner - Culture Religion Language Rights


Currently resides in: Western Cape, South Africa

Born in Cape Town South Africa

Over twenty years Bernedette Muthien has held senior executive management positions in academia, civil society and government in South Africa and abroad. An indigenous black woman from Cape Town, she is an accomplished facilitator, researcher and poet who designs, implements and evaluates projects for business, donors, government and NGOs, locally and internationally.

Until August 2016, she was the Deputy Director General in the Department of Women in the Presidency, managing Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment. She served as departmental representative in the high level Economic Cluster and on the executive Project Management Unit of the Nine Point Plan, as well as the National Oversight Structure of the Centres of Specialisation Project of the Department of Higher Education and Training (skills development for the economy), in addition to other official delegations. Among others, she oversaw production of The Status of Women in the South African Economy Report 2015, precipitating the Presidential Directive of 22 September 2015 to Economic Cluster Ministers to include women and gender in their planning, implementation and monitoring, a Directive extended to the entire Cabinet during 2016. In the Presidency she worked on, among others, Financial Inclusion, as well as Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting, in partnership with National Treasure and UN Women.

Over 22 years, on all six continents, she produced more than 200 publications and conference presentations, some of which have been translated from English into at least 16 local and international languages.

Muthien was the first Fulbright-Amy Biehl fellow at Stanford University (1994-1995), and holds postgraduate degrees in Political Science from the University of Cape Town (Dean’s Merit List, 1992), and Stellenbosch University (Andrew W Mellon Fellow, 2006-2007) in South Africa.

She serves on various international advisory boards, including the international journal Human Security Studies, as well as the International Institute on Peace Education. She is part-time Commissioner for South Africa’s Constitutional Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, and chairs its Research and Policy Development Committee, in addition to serving on the Performance Evaluation Committee.

During 2012 she published her first solo poetry anthology, “ova”, with critical acclaim around the world.

Join her on Twitter @BerneMuthien, Instagram and other social media.


Business Address

Mowbray, Cape Town, South Africa, 7705


Professional details

Current Position(s)

Commissioner | Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities
South Africa | March 2014 - present

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Chairperson of Section 22 Committee on Research and Policy Development.
Member of Performance Monitoring Committee.


Previous Position(s)

Deputy Director General | Department of Women in the Presidency
Pretoria, South Africa | July 2015 - August 2016

Government, Public Administration and Defence

As Deputy Director General in the Department of Women in the Presidency, Bernedette managed Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment. She served as departmental representative in the high level Economic Cluster and on the executive Project Management Unit of the Nine Point Plan, as well as the National Oversight Structure of the Centres of Specialisation Project of the Department of Higher Education and Training (skills development for the economy), in addition to other official delegations. Among others, she oversaw production of The Status of Women in the South African Economy Report 2015, precipitating the Presidential Directive of 22 September 2015 to Economic Cluster Ministers to include women and gender in their planning, implementation and monitoring, a Directive extended to the entire Cabinet during 2016. In the Presidency she worked on, among others, Financial Inclusion, as well as Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting, in partnership with National Treasure and UN Women.


Commissioner | Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities
Cape Town, South Africa | March 2014 - March 2019

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Chair of Section 22 Committee on Research and Policy Development.
Member of Performance Monitoring Committee


Council Member | Council | Council of Iziko Museums of South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa | August 2013 - July 2016

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Chair of Strategy and Policy Committee.
Chair of Special Committee on Human Remains, tasked with national consultation, national and international research, and drafting public policy, which could inform legislation.


Convenor | Bernedette Muthien & Associates
Cape Town, South Africa | October 2013 - June 2015

Consulting and Project Management

Programme Design and Development.
Research, especially participatory research.
Evaluations. Publications.
Facilitation and events management.
Community Development.
Networking, incl. convening local and international networks.
Collaborations include: 1in9 Campaign; African Arts Institute; Artscape; Bucknell University USA; CAL; Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University USA; Democracy from Below; Embrace Dignity; First Nation News; International Feminists for a Gift Economy; KaosPilots Denmark; Masimanyane; Parliament of South Africa; Presbyterian World Mission; Rapport; Rural Women’s Movement; SHAWCO at University of Cape Town; South African NGO Coalition; Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women, WHEAT Trust; various government departments, national trade unions, universities and other institutions locally and internationally.


Founder and Executive Director | Engender
Cape Town, South Africa | 2003 - 2013

Social Development and Community Services

Non-profit (NGO) management.
Research.
Policy Development.
Publishing.
Facilitation.
Events management.


Consultant | Independent
Cape Town, South Africa | 2001 - 2003

Consulting and Project Management


Senior Researcher | National Association of Democratic Lawyers
Cape Town, South Africa | 1999 - 1999

Law Practice and Legal Services

Research.
Policy Development.
Advocacy.
Legal Services.
Materials Development and Publications.
Events management.


Applied Programme Convenor | African Gender Institute | University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa | 1999 - 2001

Academia, Education and Training

Programme design, implementation and monitoring, incl. financial management and fundraising, coordination of a 10-country Southern Africa tertiary education network with over 500 members and 3 listservs I established and managed. Southern Africa workshops facilitated at universities across the region on gender, institutional transformation, sexual harassment and gender-based violence, as well as policy formulation, implementation and monitoring, in addition to lobbying and advocacy.


Regional Co-ordinator | Gun Free South Africa
1998 - 1998

Programme Co-ordinator / Researcher | Quaker Peace Centre
Cape Town, South Africa | 1996 - 1999

Social Development and Community Services


Secretary | Board of Directors | Eoan Group
1992 - 1994

Public Relations Officer | Eoan Group
1991 - 1994

Freelance Advertising & Marketing Copywriter | Young & Rubicam
1989 - 1990

Advertising Copywriter | Ogilvy & Mather
Cape Town | 1989 - 1989

Educational history

Secondary

Bellville South, Cape Town, South Africa (1984)

Tertiary

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch, South Africa | 2007 - 2008

MA - Political Science

By thesis, Indigenous Studies, Gender Studies, Peace and Security Studies, Conflict Resolution, Intersectionalities.

Stanford University

Stanford, South Africa | 1994 - 1995

First Fulbright-Amy Biehl Scholar - Political Science

University of Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa | 1992 - 1993

Bachelor of Social Science - Honours (BSocSci Hons) - Political Studies

Various Scholarships

University of Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa | 1990 - 1992

Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Political Studies and English Literature

Dean's Merit List.
Various Scholarships.

Achievements

Awards

Andrew W Mellon Research Fellowship

Andrew W Mellon Research Fellowship

National Research Foundation Travel Grant | National Research Foundation (NRF)

National Research Foundation Fellowship | National Research Foundation (NRF)

First Fulbright-Amy Biehl scholar, Stanford University, 1994 | Fulbright

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship | German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Centre for Science Development (CSD) Scholarship | Centre for Science Development (CSD)

Dean’s Merit List

media exposure

Expresso Show | 2017

International Mothertongue Day 21 February

BBC | 2014

"The South African poet who advocates for gender equity, peace and non-violence".
Radio interview by BBC correspondent in Maputo, Jose Tembe, during international conference in Cape Town, winter 2014.

The Presidency | 2014

President Jacob Zuma has, in terms of section 11(4) read with 13(1) of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Act, 2002, appointed twelve persons as members of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

The appointment is with effect from 01 March 2014, for a period of five years.

The following persons were appointed:

1. Ms Thoko Nonhle Mkhwanazi

2. Prof Luka David Mosoma

3. Dr Anton Wynard Knoetze

4. Mr Renier Stephanus Schoeman

5. Mr Sicelo Emmanuel Dlamini

6. Mr Raymond Trollip

7. Mr Richard Daryll Botha

8. Ms Violet Nomalanga Tyamzashe

9. Ms Bernedette Muthien

10. Ms Pumla Primrose Madiba

11. Ms Helen Julia Mabale

12. Ms Sheila Fihliwe Khama

President Zuma President congratulates the new commissioners and wishes them well in the fulfilment of their critical national tasks.

Enquiries: Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203 or macmaharaj@icloud.com

Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria

Peace Papers 9 | 2003

Fujen University Annual Peace Lecture, Taipei, Taiwan

Global Campaign for Peace Education Newsletter | 2010

EMBRACING PEACE EDUCATION: A Way to Peace Education and a Better World

Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers | 2013

Freeway from Fear: The Rights to Safety, Love, Life and Freedom

Center for African Studies, Rutgers University | 2013

Jaywalking the Freeway of Love

United Nations | 2014

Intersections: Justice and Compassion for All

Fair Observer | 2012

Understanding violence and gender-based violence in South African and beyond.

Fair Observer | 2013

Exploitation and Commerce of Sex Trafficking in South African.

Academic Achievements

First Fulbright-Amy Biehl Scholarship | 1994

Stanford University, California, USA

Dean's Merit List | 1991

University of Cape Town

Activities

Memberships

African Peace Research and Education Association

Deputy Chairperson, 2014 - 2016

Co-founder of AFPREA

International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

Member of the Executive Council, 2012 - 2016

International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

Convenor of Global Political Economy Commission, 2000 - 2016

International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

Member of Executive Council, 2000 - 2006

IPRA Publications Committee

Member, 2001 - 2002

South African Association for Conflict Intervention (SAACI)

Member of Executive Council, 1997 - 2001

National Defence Review Consultative Process

Member, 1996 - 1999

Gender and Development Forum, Western Cape

Member, 1993 - 1994

IPRA Commissions: Global Political Economy, and Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding

Member, 1998 - present

Women’s International Network on Gender and Human Security (WINGHS)

Founding Member, 1998 - present

Association of Women in Development (AWID)

Member, 2003 - present

International Feminists for a Gift Economy

Member, 2006 - present

Human Experience Coalition, Digital Universe Project, University of Utah

Member of International Advisory Council, 2007 - present

International Advisory Board of the international journal, Human Security Studies

Member of Advisory Board

Amanitare (African network of gender Non-Governmental Organisation)

Member

community

South African NGO Coalition Western Cape

Deputy Chair

Other Activities

Poetry

Poet, 1978 - present

Solo poetry collection "ova" published 2012.
Poems reproduced in anthologies locally and internationally, some translated into various other languages including German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

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