Lectures

Can African Women Redefine Liberation for All?

2015–2016 Maurine and Robert Rothschild Lecture
Photo by Kevin Grady, Radcliffe Staff PhotographerPhoto by Kevin Grady, Radcliffe Staff Photographer

Transforming the relationship between men and women remains a global challenge. In Africa the challenge is of epic proportions: a life-and-death struggle that undermines the potential of the continent to take its rightful place at the table of the global community. African women, the pillars of their families and communities, have yet to effectively take on the role of liberating themselves and thereby liberate the men of Africa. What will it take?

This event is free and open to the public.


Mamphela Aletta Ramphele BI ’89, of South Africa, has been a student activist, a medical doctor, a community development activist, a researcher, a university executive, and a global public servant. She is now an active citizen in both the public and private sectors.

Ramphele is the author of several books and publications on socioeconomic issues in South Africa. She has received numerous national and international awards acknowledging her scholarship and had a leading role in spearheading projects for disadvantaged people in South Africa and elsewhere. She has served on many boards over the years.

In January 2013, Ramphele became the leader of Agang SA, a party for all South Africans which won two seats in the national election held in May 2014. Post election Ramphele retired from party politics to return to her role as an active citizen.


Alumna and former Radcliffe College trustee Maurine Pupkin Rothschild ’40 and her husband Robert Rothschild ’39 established the annual Rothschild Lecture at the Schlesinger Library in 1989. Distinguished speakers in the series have included Gail Collins, Angela Davis, Eve Ensler, Julio Frenk, Linda Greenhouse, Anita Hill, Samantha Power, Adrienne Rich, Amartya Sen, Reva Siegel, and Maxine Singer.