The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and Shared Interest are proud to host Women’s Economic Justice —a webinar on Equity in the Labour Force, Confronting Domestic Violence, and the Work of Women in building Flourishing Economies

The Covid-19 pandemic and government lockdowns have seen a rise in unprecedented levels of sexual, physical, emotional, and economic violence against women, this has increasingly become known as the “shadow pandemic”. For many women around the world, the violence manifests in their own homes as well as spaces of work and enterprise. In 2021 the International Monetary Fund, released critical research highlighting the detrimental impact of gender-based violence on Sub-Saharan Africa economies. Some of these findings show that an increase in violence against women by 1 percentage point is associated with a 9 percent lower level of economic activity —women’s inability to participate equitably in the economy makes poverty alleviation difficult to attain.

It is crucial, now more than ever, for women to access resources, financial freedom, and influence decision making and policy to break the vicious cycle of gender-based violence and subsequently contribute to societal growth.

In recognition of Leah Tutu’s birthday and Domestic Violence Awareness month, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (DLTLF) and Shared Interestinvite you to join us for a webinar hosted by the Mail & Guardian, exploring women’s economic agency, and how gender-based and institutional violence undermines societal prosperity. This intersectional conversation, facilitated by Phumi Nhlapo, Chief Operating Officer of DLTLF, further invites us to think about women’s economic agency as a powerful pathway to freedom and opportunities to galvanise the courage to heal and protect women’s rights to grow flourishing societies. Commenting on the upcoming webinar, Nhlapo noted, “Growing women’s economic agency in the face of interpersonal and institutional violence is one of the most powerful ways to transform our society. This was something the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu was an active supporter of. We are excited to be exploring how we can explore these conversations through the insights our panellists will bring to this discussion.”

Meet the Panellists 

Lea Conrad, Managing Director — Conrad Advisory 

With extensive experience in the private sector, Conrad’s work interrogates the barriers that have an effect on women entrepreneurs and their ability to flourish in the private sector space.

Dr. Cynthia Spence, Associate Professor of Sociology— Spelman College 

Dr. Spence is an expert on social justice and intersectional feminism. Her work looks at gender-based violence and explores the ways in which institutions and policy replicate violence against women.

Sane Mdlalose, Chief Growth Officer – SmartStart South Africa 

SmartStart is an early learning programme that equips children in their formative years to be successful in their schooling and beyond. As an organisation that empowers women by upskilling them as playgroup facilitators, Mdlalose looks to the care economy as a site of economic liberation for women.

Webinar Details

Date: 26 October 2022

Time: 4pm (SAST)

Register here:

About the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (DLTLF)

Founded in 2013, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (DLTLF) strives to take the example of its founders into the future, in part by growing and facilitating powerful and timely voices of moral courage on some of the most pressing issues of our time. Visit for more information.


About Shared Interest 

Shared Interest was established in 1994 by Founder Donna Katzin along with other U.S. anti-apartheid activists and socially responsible investors who were committed to ending apartheid with an unwavering passion for human rights and economic justice.  Shared Interest mobilizes the resources for Southern Africa’s economically disenfranchised communities to sustain themselves and build equitable nations. Visit for more.