Maverick Citizen


The week in civil society: Dissecting election dynamics and acknowledging women’s Covid burden

A Election Commission worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections in Meyerton, Midvaal Municipality, south of Johannesburg, South Africa, (Photo: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND)

This week, civil society acknowledges the contribution of women to the response to Covid-19, and the unjust burden they bear. South Africa’s upcoming local and general elections are in the spotlight, as well as Chile’s looming constitutional reform.

Around the world, women are at the forefront of effective Covid-19 responses yet remain barred from the highest levels of decision making around the pandemic, according to a recent policy brief by United Nations Women.

The centrality of their work, as well as the disproportionate burdens they carry, are the focus of International Women’s Day on Monday.

The rest of the week

On Monday, 8 March, Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood will discuss the recently published report on cartel power dynamics in Zimbabwe with Anotida Chikumbu on Book TV. Chikumbu is a US-based Zimbabwean academic who engages with authors on their academic writings. The discussion will begin at 3pm here

At 6pm, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is hosting an online discussion in honour of International Women’s Day about achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world. Its board member Catherine Constantinides will discuss this with lawyer, activist and member of the Gauteng provincial legislature Fasiha Hassan. Tune in here

Around the world, women are at the very front of effective Covid-19 responses -yet, they remain barred from the highest levels of decision making which impact the pandemic, according to a recent policy brief by the United Nations Women. (Photo:

In 2024, independent candidates will be able to take part in South Africa’s general elections for the first time. What will be the practical implications and what does it mean for multiparty democracy? On Wednesday, 10 March at 11am, My Vote Counts is hosting a webinar to discuss just that. 

The director of Youth Lab, Pearl Pillay, will be in conversation with Mmusi Maimane of the One South Africa Movement and Tessa Dooms, a political commentator and National Planning Commissioner. RSVP to [email protected]

That same day, Oxfam South Africa and the Centre for Environmental Rights will launch a briefing paper on the “Information Disclosure and Grievance Mechanisms of the New Development Bank”. Attend the virtual launch here at 10am.

Chile is on the cusp of drawing up a new constitution, but it will take years. One of the country’s foremost constitutional scholars, Professor Javier Couso, will discuss this process with Professor Derek Powell of the Dullah Omar Institute and Dr Robert Nanima of the University of the Western Cape’s Faculty of Law during a webinar on Thursday, 11 March. Tune in at 3.30pm here

Local elections loom, as does the possibility of coalition governments. They have proved to be tumultuous, so how can they be stabilised? Will a change in law or political culture help? This will be discussed on Friday, 12 March at 3pm during a webinar hosted by the Dullah Omar Institute and Hanns Seidel Foundation. Among the speakers will be election analyst Wayne Sussman and James Selfe, a DA member of Parliament. Sign up here. MC/DM


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