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Dr Brigalia Bam, former chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), was one of three achieving women recently honoured at the Hall of Femme Awards in Johannesburg.


The awards were presented by the South African chapter of the International Women's Forum (IWF), which has more than 8 000 members from 34 nations, in conjunction with Standard Bank.

The IWFSA Hall of Femme recognises women who have dedicated their lives and careers to the pursuit of empowerment, advancing  women's leadership on a global scale.

Dr Bam, 90, is a leader whose legacy is preserved at Nelson Mandela University in the form of an archive created in her name at the Archive Exhibition Centre. This will enable future generations to draw inspiration and continue the journey towards a more just society.

Dr Bam also presented the Dr Brigalia Bam Inaugural Institutional Public Lecture in August at Mandela University in Gqeberha.

President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke at Hall of Femme, emphasising the need for gender equality as a fundamental human right and an economic priority.

He commended the IWFSA's tradition of celebrating women who make a meaningful difference in South Africa, Africa, and the wider world.

The President specifically acknowledged Dr Bam's ongoing commitment to making a difference, even after retiring as IEC chairperson.

“Many people retire from this difficult role to take it easy. That is not the case with Dr Bam who is intent on paying it forward wherever and whenever she can,” said President Ramaphosa.

He singled out her efforts to build a better country, along with her “distinguished contribution to the empowerment of women in South Africa”.

President Ramaphosa praised the IWF’s role in promoting mentorship and empowering women from all walks of life to challenge norms and redefine leadership. This included initiatives such as its collaboration with the FASSET Women's Legacy Programme, which aims to mentor and develop 1 000 women in the financial sector by 2025. 

The IWFSA also honoured Mojanku Gumbi and Dr Winifred “Winnie” Karagwa with a Hall of Femme award.

The Hall of Femme celebrates remarkable achievements and highlights the importance of gender equality in building a fairer, more equal, and more peaceful world.

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057