Sandra holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Wildlife and Safari Management and a Masters of Philosophy degree in Climate and Water Resources Management. A Natural Resources Management and Governance ‘expert’ by training, Sandra was drawn to the woman’s rights and feminist movement because of her lived realities as a highly motivated and go-getter woman, a trait which, unfortunately, is unpopular in a patriarchal society which discriminates against ‘ambitious’ women. Sandra’s lived realities made her alive to the fact that space for women’s inclusion and representation remains closed out, and also remains a contest where women have to fight harder just to be included and recognized for what they have to offer. Sandra believes in activism for women’s rights and a feminist movement that is both silent and loud. Silent through simply breaking barriers in everyday lives as women and gaining access to spaces normally closed out for women; and loud in that there comes a time when the silence has to be broken and activism for women’s rights has to be vocal and active to demand attention and gain traction. She is a Programs Coordinator at the Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) in Bindura, Zimbabwe where she has the privilege to be part of a young woman’s agency that uses both silent and loud activism strategies to demand space for representation and inclusion in all spheres of marginalised young women from rural, mining and farming communities.
Glanis Changachirere is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Young Women Development an organisation that promotes the participation of young women with an overall goal of contributing to their sustainable livelihoods and inclusion. Glanis is also the founding Coordinator of the African Women Leaders Forum, a regional network of individual activist and organisation working to enhance young women’s participation in Sub-Saharan Africa. A frontline human rights defender and activist, Changachirere is a Member of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy and a Fellow of the Reagan Fascell Fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy where she developed a handbook on strategies to promote young women’s participation in decision making and politics in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a recipient of the 30 Under 30 Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy for her pioneering work on young women’s political participation and advocating for a rights-based approach in traditional courts in Zimbabwe. She was named one of the 2020-2021 Most Distinguished Women Change Makers in Africa by Humanitarian Awards Global. She’s a recipient for Chevening Scholarship. Changachirere holds a Master’s in International Relations (Gender) from the University of Birmingham and a Master’s in Public Policy and Governance from Africa University. Changachirere’s activism came at an early age in her life as she fought against a patriarchal society that almost denied her right to education growing up in rural Zimbabwe. She had bad encounters with the Zimbabwean state where she was arrested several times for demanding young women and students’ rights. Her journey of struggle for recognition as a full being as a girl child and persecuted for standing up for young women and students’ rights inspired the founding of the Institute for Young Women Development. The organisation was established to create a safe space for marginalised young women to strengthen their voice and agency to shape the destiny of their lives. To date, Glanis has led numerous initiatives that have led young women in Political Leadership, contributed to human rights in traditional courts and young women leading economic and climate change initiatives across the country.