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Pulse of the Movement (PoM) is
Empowerment WORKS' free webcast series, illuminating local solutions; inspiring daily actions for a thriving world.

  • From child care to climate
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  • Extraordinary voices

Her Story - Women's History Month Special


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In celebration of Women’s History Month, we present Her Story.  

From Peru to South Africa we’ll explore the historical transitions and transformational journeys of women in society. With distinct colonial events, what do these movements for gender equality, and women’s rights share?


Thoko Majokweni

Thoko Majokweni was appointed by the President of South Africa, as the first female, Special Director of Public Prosecutions on the 1st of October 1999 in the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions. She was appointed to set up and head a unit that would specialise in violent, sexual and other offences against women and children. She set up and heads the directorate on violence against women and children known as the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit. She is at the forefront of setting up Sexual Offences Courts in all the provinces, the institutionalisation of prosecutor led investigations in cases of violence against women and children as well as the coordination of services for an efficient and responsive Criminal Justice Systems in Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Crimes. She has led the design and development of a one stop service model for focused and efficient rape management called the Thuthuzela Care Centre. This is coupled with a specialist Sexual Offences Court and the combination results in the most efficient and holistic response system in the country. This Model has improved the conviction rate from an average of 42% to an average of 85%.

Genevieve Smith – President/Strategy, The Visionaria Network

Genevieve is a specialist in gender and markets, with a focus on women's inclusion in clean energy value chains and women's economic empowerment more broadly. Genevieve holds a Master in Development Practice (MDP) from the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs from University of Colorado, Boulder. She’s served as a consultant to the U.N. High-level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment where she was a member of the research team that wrote the report "Leave No One Behind: A call to action for gender equality and women's economic empowerment." She also conducts research on private sector efforts to advance women's empowerment with faculty at the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley) and developed a strategy guide for companies to implement initiatives within their value chains. With the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Winrock International / USAID, Genevieve has developed and tested an empowerment training program for women clean energy entrepreneurs. Genevieve’s work spans Latin America, India, East Africa, Nepal, and the US. She co-founded and provides strategic direction to Visionaria Network’s programs as President.

Paul Spurzem – Executive Director/Operations, The Visionaria Network

Paul is an international business consultant turned social entrepreneur dedicated to supporting women and girls to realize their potential and think bigger about their futures. Paul is a CPA, previously working for a global accounting firm servicing a variety of industries in areas of tax compliance, advisory, business development, and sustainability. During this time, he helped to create and manage the original Visionaria Peru project from 2012-2016. Paul directs Visionaria Network programs and projects with curiosity, empathy, and participatory design, often leading workshops and marketing efforts in Spanish. Paul holds accounting and German degrees from the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder.

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