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Dr. Tabeth Masengu

Affiliated Researcher

  • Academic Title Dr.
  • Email Tabeth.Masengu[@]
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Dr. Tabeth Masengu's Bio

Tabeth Masengu was a joint Doctoral Researcher with UGent and the University of Cape Town, until 15 May 2020, then she obtained her doctoral degree in Law.

She graduated from Rhodes University in South Africa with an LLB (Cum laude) in 2006 and was later admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 2010, after completing her articles of clerkship and Board exams. She worked in an a human rights NGO, before obtaining an LLM in Human Rights Law (Cum laude) from The London School of Economics and Political Science in 2011.

Until July 2019, Tabeth was a Senior Researcher at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU) at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She pioneered and led the gender arm of the judicial governance work that DGRU focuses on women in the judiciary and legal profession. This project required a combination of research and advocacy work both domestically and regionally. She also led the Women Pioneer Programme, funded by the Norwegian embassy which seeks to capacitate and empower women law students and magistrates.

She has also conducted judicial training for/ and or facilitated workshops for judges in Tanzania and Uganda . She was annual speaker at the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges AGM and was previously the Co-Convenor of the Women, Equality and Constitutionalism group of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers. She also previously served as the Southern African Correspondent for the Oxford University Human Rights Hub.

Tabeth was a recipient of a Special Research Fund (BOF) for joint doctorates scholarship from Ghent for a period of 12 months, between 2017-2018. Her PhD research examines how informal and formal aspects of the appointment process, inform the equal representation of men and women on the judicial bench.

Her research interests include gender and judging, women’s rights and the law, judicial governance and constitutionalism and equality.

Her publications include topics such as gender and judging and women in the legal profession in South-Africa, women, constitutional rights and judicial appointments in Zambia, the vulnerability of judges and in customary law inheritance in Botswana.

Dr. Tabeth Masengu's Publications

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Dr. Tabeth Masengu's Professional Positions

Current Selection

  • Faculty Member and Researcher ; University of Cape Town, Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (2012-present)
  • Consultant; AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa (Nov –Dec 2011)
  • Project Manager (previously Researcher); Treatment Action Campaign (2009-2011)
  • Candidate Attorney; Tomlinson Mnguni James Attorneys (2007-2009)

Dr. Tabeth Masengu's Education

University Degrees

  • Doctor in Laws Ghent University (Belgium) and University of Cape Town (South Africa), 2020
  • LLM in Human Rights (Cum Laude) The London School of Economics Political Science, 2011
  • LLB (Cum Laude) Rhodes University ,South Africa, 2006

Dr. Tabeth Masengu's Sideline activities/memberships

  • Project Head on the Womens Pioneer Programme sponsored by the Norwegian Government.
  • Co-Convenor of the Working Group on Women, Equality and the Constitution of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers (ANCL).
  • Facilitator of the Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights workshop on Judicial Appointments hosted in Harare, June 2016.
  • Facilitator of the Tanzanian Judges Training hosted by Equality Now, October 2015 in Bagamayo.
  • Associate Editor of the ‘Women and Constitutionalism in Africa: Gendered Participation in Process, Content and Application’ submitted for review, 2015.
  • Facilitator at the Open Society Foundation discussion on the 2015 State of the Nation Address -13th of February 2015.
  • Speaker at the SA Chapter of the Association of Women Judges Annual Meeting-August 2013 -2016.
  • Facilitator at the Customary Law Symposium on the Application of Customary Law in the South African Legal Setting from a Women’s Rights Perspective”, 22nd and 23rd of August 2013.
Dr. Tabeth Masengu's work details
  • Visiting Address: Paddenhoek 5, 1st Floor, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Postal Address: Faculty of Law and Criminology, Human Rights Centre, Universiteitstraat 4, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • HRC Secretariat: +32 (0)9 264 69 11
Dr. Tabeth Masengu's expertise
  • Gender and Judging
  • Women's Rights
  • Judicial Governance


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