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Prof. Caroline Ncube – Head Commercial Law Department – University of Cape Town

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, in our series on women in law, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Prof. Caroline Ncube who  heads up the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town. She holds the South African Research Chair in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development. She serves as a member of the African Policy, Research & Advisory Group on STI, is a member of the Advisory Board of the African Network of International Economic Law (AfIELN) and of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

We discuss how these roles contribute to the discipline of law in both academia and practice; and note some of the accomplishments of women in the field of law. Some of Prof. Ncube’s collaborations with Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt form part of the Open African Innovation Research Partnerships. One of her recent projects addresses patents and access to medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We discuss the liberating effects of education on women and Prof. Ncube shares how each generation of women in her family achieved more than the previous one, and frequently the reason was their level of education.

Prof. Ncube reflects on the influence of gender in personal and professional life, where the perception of traditional gender roles can inhibit some women from advancing in their careers until their children are less dependent on them. Establishing childcare facilities at institutions, formulating robust support networks and reconsidering gender roles are a few interventions that could help women navigate various stages of their personal and professional lives.

In closing Prof. Ncube reminds us that the hopes of the continent are pinned on women and youth; so if you are young and female the moment is yours, the continent is wide open reach out and take it.  Tune in for more…

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