Keynote Speakers

Diane Cooper

Diane Cooper

Diane Cooper has a Social Science background and a PhD in Public Health. She is a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape. Prior to her appointment as a professor in the School of Public Health at UWC in 2015, she was an Associate Professor in the Women’s Health Research Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, where she remains and honorary professor. She has 27 years of experience in Public Health teaching and research, particularly in the areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), Gender and Health and Women’s health. Her current interests include SRH and HIV integration, contraception, teenage pregnancy, maternal health and the SRH needs, service provision for women and youth and influences on early adolescent SRH. She has worked extensively with government, NGOs and civil society organisation in South Africa, on the African continent and internationally. She has published widely in Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Jedidah Muthoni Maina

Jedidah Muthoni Maina

Jedidah Maina—holds a Masters of Arts in Project Planning and Management and a Bachelors of Arts degree (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Nairobi. She has over ten years of experience as an activist advocate, program manager, and organizer concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights. Jedidah works for Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) as the Deputy Director where she manages the “Our bodies, Our Choices” Portfolio of Programs. This program seeks to design educational materials and advocate for change in attitudes, policies, programs and power relationships. Her work includes developing provocative IEC and values clarification materials, training in communities on reproductive health choices and advocacy at the national, regional and International level for reproductive justice.
Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt is an American poet, essayist and columnist for The Nation magazine. She has won many awards and prizes for her work, including two National Magazine Awards, a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Book Awards. She is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently The Mind-Body Problem, and five prose books, including Learning to Drive, a collection of personal essays. The title essay was made into a movie starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley. She writes often about feminist issues of politics and culture. Her most recent book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, argues that legal, accessible abortion is a positive social good. She lives in New York City with her husband, Steven Lukes.