How We Got Started
The Centre for Alternative Development, CAD, is a women-led, women driven initiative founded by a group of women in development, gender, media, and grassroots women committed to development and climate justice for women in Africa, concerned about the exclusion of women in development and climate change discussions, lack of African women’s perspectives, and how their issues are presented.
In global, regional and national spaces only a negligible number of women are regarded as experts
Through use of Applied Research, and Participatory Action Research, we believe women in Africa are able to assess where they are and what is needed to advance their development goals.
CAD seeks to create spaces for women to think through, imagine and articulate their vision for development
Our Team draws on board experience and network to create the most powerful outcome on all our works
Gladys Ndanatsiwa Moyo
Gladys Ndanatsiwa Moyo is a tenacious development practitioner with an interest in the protection and upholding of Human Rights, particularly the rights of women and sexual minorities. She holds a Masters in Development Studies (MDS) from Women’s University in Africa and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. She is a founding Board Member of the EatOut Movement Africa, which works with the homeless. Ndana is particularly engrossed in the law and how it can be used to protect women’s right to development, having been exposed to the legal environment for over 3 years and still counting. Ndana is an avid reader with a keen interest in literature on women’s law and feminist politics.
Melania Chiponda is a PhD candidate with the Women’s University in Africa with research interests on Rural Electrification and rural women’s access to energy. Melania identifies as an African Ecofeminist who has vast experience, stretching over 15 years working on research and advocacy in the extractives, focusing on women’s human rights. Women’s right to development is at the core of Melania’s research and advocacy work, with a focus on energy, food and climate justice. Her approach is embedded in feminist participatory methodologies which bring out women’s experiences, stories and struggles, to contribute towards development and climate justice for women in Africa. Melania holds a Master of Science in Development Studies from the Women’s University in Africa, a Bachelor of Science (Hon) degree in Sociology, and Gender Development Studies, and other post-graduate qualifications. A commitment to gender justice, development justice and climate justice drives Melania to work towards initiatives that seek to restore and strengthen the capacity of women in Africa and creating societal conditions which are favourable to the attainment of their goals and aspirations.
Reyhana Masters-Smith has worked in the mainstream media for more than two decades. She served as chairperson of MISA-Zimbabwe from 2002 to 2005, when she left to take up a Hubert Humphrey Fellowship in the US. She is currently IFEX’s Africa Regional Editor. Reyhana believes advocating for media freedom is a collective responsibility, and is committed to building and strengthening networks, even outside the media sector, “building strong networks of influence” as she puts it. During her tenure as MISA Chairperson, and after, Reyhana has often been at the deep end; fighting for media freedom while ensuring that the organisation supported journalists who were being threatened, assaulted and arrested on a regular basis. She believes in creating space and greater opportunity for advocates and influencers to building solidarity. Reyhana is a renowned writer and investigative journalist who brings in a wealth of experience to contribute to women’s climate and development justice.
Movement Building Lead
Advisory Team Lead
Gladys Mavusa is a community organiser who has worked in Marange Communal Lands and surrounding communities in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe to carry out participatory action research to inform community advocacy and actions for environmental and gender justice, particularly during the involuntary displacements of the people Marange. Gladys identifies as a frontline Women’s Human Rights Defender working with frontline defenders fighting against environmental harm, pollution and land-grabbing by the extractives sector. Her passion for development and gender has largely been informed by her strong commitment to see natural resources in Africa bring a better quality of life to the peasant women, whom she believes are bearing the cost of unjust development models adopted by governments without meaningful consultation, and consent of the hosting communities. Gladys believes women in Africa must organise and build movements for just development that meets their needs across the continent.
Susan Makore is an academic and media practitioner with research interests in Development, Gender and the Media. Having been a lecturer with University of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Open University, and serving as the Council Chairperson for Women’s University in Africa, Susan is the current CEO for AB Communications, and is one of the few women in Zimbabwe and in Africa in general that have managed to access an influential media position where women continue to be severely underrepresented in newsrooms, television, radio stations and film production. With academic and media experience stretching over 20 years, Susan acknowledges the critical role played by women in the media operations and programming as issues of women’s equality, access to social institutions and social services, protection of women’s rights and development are largely shaped by how they are portrayed in the media. Susan brings in a wealth of experience to shape our media strategy and policy which should be consistent with our vision of realising development justice for African women.
Susan Siwela is a passionate gender and development justice advocate working for the Gender Commission of Zimbabwe. Susan brings in her youthful energy and vibrancy to CAD, together with her administrative experience which she acquired while working for the Ministry of Public Service, as she holds a Master of Science in Development Studies from the Women’s University in Africa, Diploma in Personnel Management from the Institute of People Management of Zimbabwe, a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Gender and Development Studies from Women’s University in Africa, and further post-graduate qualifications in Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation from the University of Zimbabwe. Susan is committed to fighting gender inequality, discrimination, violence against women and all forms of restrictions which inhibits women’s full potential in all areas of their lives.