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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Seodi White: Championing Change Through Social Justice and Advocacy

Last updated Thursday, March 21, 2024 09:01 ET

Seodi White's journey from activism to founding Giving to Africa demonstrates her dedication to social justice and ability to drive meaningful change through leadership and advocacy.

Blantyre, Malawi, 03/21/2024 / SubmitMyPR /

Women play a significant role in various arenas, from law and international development to activism and public service. Seodi Venekai-Rudo White is a prominent leader in these fields, with over two decades of experience in strategic government reform coordination, public policy design and implementation, as well as gender mainstreaming and effective leadership in socio-legal research.

White pursued private law practice, international development, and advocacy for women's rights after graduating from the University of Botswana with a law degree. She founded the Women and Law in Southern Africa Malawi Office (WLSA Malawi) in 1998.

WLSA Malawi was a force that championed legislative changes. It passed acts such as the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act 2006 and the Deceased Estates (Inheritance, Succession and Protection) Act 2011. These laws provided protection for women against domestic violence and property dispossession upon the death of their spouses, respectively.

In 2000, White founded Seodi White Consult and focused on international development consulting. This has led her to establish Giving to Africa, which is a gateway that facilitates philanthropy for Africa. Her advocacy efforts focus on advancing governance, gender equality, and social justice. These paved the way for tangible policy changes within governments and the fields of gender-based law reform and legal rights education.

White obtained a master's degree in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex to inform her already vast knowledge. With this, she was able to extend her advocacy efforts to combat violence against women and child marriage by facilitating lectures on topics like overcoming gender bias and injustice.

Throughout White's work with WLSA Malawi, she managed a team of 16 professionals and spearheaded socio-legal research projects and training initiatives across seven countries in Southern Africa. She made a name for herself, with all her contributions that influenced legal rights reform and advanced women's rights throughout the region.

The then-president of Malawi recognized White's efforts and proposed a role in the Office of the President and Cabinet Malawi as the Chief Director. From 2014 to 2020, the woman leader led the government's public sector reforms program. She coordinated and implemented initiatives modernizing the country's civil service and public sector.

White's achievements during her tenure in the Malawi government office include developing the Malawi National Public Sector Reforms Policy, the National Public Service Management Policy, and the Public Service Accountability and Performance Bill. It is also worth noting that she established the Malawi Public Service Commission to enhance recruitment and accountability processes.

The woman of many hats went above and beyond to expand her influence. Besides her role in the government and as a consultant, she served as a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto and taught courses at institutions such as the International Law Institute in Kampala, Uganda, and the University of North Carolina.

It is this passion for knowledge sharing that prompted White to publish research reports and peer-reviewed papers. These have had an enormous impact on legal rights reform in Malawi and the broader African region.

White is currently focusing on guiding individual philanthropists and organizations in making contributions to impactful initiatives across the African continent through Giving to Africa. She leverages her experience in advocacy, legal reform, and public sector management to address the problem she recognized—a lack of transparency and direction for well-intentioned donors. The consultant identifies opportunities for intervention and partners with local organizations to drive change from the ground up.

"The world is filled with disparities and injustices. But there's an opportunity to bridge the gap between intention and impact. Giving to Africa attests to that, as we show commitment to meaningful advocacy to invest in the region's future," the founder remarked. This illustrates how Seodi White continues to champion causes that empower marginalized communities and drive positive change.

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