Press Release — July 01, 2020

Melene Cynthia Rossouw Honored as One of the 2020 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World

July 1, 2020, St. Louis, USA — For her incredible work furthering gender equality, Melene Cynthia Rossouw of South Africa has been selected as a 2020 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honoree in the category of Contribution to Children, World Peace and/or Human Rights.

Melene Cynthia Rossouw has always dreamed boldly and acted in accordance to her convictions. An attorney by trade, she is an internationally recognized gender and human rights activist, speaker, moderator and facilitator.

In 2017, Ms. Rossouw founded the Women Lead Movement with no external funding. It has not always been easy, but she believes that “we plant today in order for future generations to reap the benefits later.” The Women Lead Movement aims to promote leadership and self-confidence in women and girls, provide tools and strategies to eradicate gender-based violence and increase participation and representation of women in community structures and local government.

By providing services like Community Dialogues, Legislative Training and Education and Research and Writing, the Women Lead Movement educates people on gender inequality, raises awareness of human rights abuses and mobilizes women and girls to fight for women’s rights. Ms. Rossouw’s organization has reached more than 2000 women, girls and young men in schools and communities and has been recognized by regional and international human rights agencies.

Ms. Rossouw’s leadership has not gone unnoticed. Over the past several years, she has been selected as an Inaugural Obama Leader Africa, a Future Africa Forum Leader and a Mandela Washington Fellow. She currently serves as an Executive Director for the Women Lead Movement organization. Looking to reach even more people, she recently signed the first Host Agreement to establish Women Lead Movement in Madagascar, with Namibia soon to follow.

When she started the Women Lead Movement, it was only with a vision, a commitment and a problem to eradicate. Despite the obstacles she has had to overcome, Ms. Rossouw sees the potential to expand across the continent in the next ten years and have an extraordinary impact on Africa.

About JCI TOYP: JCI (Junior Chamber International) honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and have extraordinary accomplishments regarding individual development, business and entrepreneurship, community action and international cooperation. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young leaders create positive change on a local and global level.

The ten honorees will be recognized at the 2020 JCI Awards Ceremony at the 2020 JCI World Congress in November.

About JCI: JCI, a global leadership organization, provides personal and professional development opportunities to young leaders age 18 to 40. Through its international network of around 110 countries, JCI unites all sectors of society and empowers the leaders of tomorrow to create positive and lasting change today. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Alex Vietor
Communications Manager

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