Womens History Month: Betty Makoni


Betty Makoni is a gender activist, Founder and Director of Girl Child Network Zimbabwe (GCN) and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Child Network World Wide, an organisation that champions the rights of the girl child in Zimbabwe and world over. She is a holder of two Bachelor of Arts Honours Degrees from the University of Zimbabwe. From 1999 to date, Betty Makoni has mobilised financial resources to build four Girls Empowerment Villages, a unique model that provides safe shelter, healing, and a future to sexually abused girls.
A survivor of rape at age six as well as orphaned at age nine ,Betty fought for her education and to date she has fought for girls in similar circumstances all round the world. She has consistently used her voice to remind policy makers and leaders to change policies, attitudes and laws that are detrimental to the growth and development of the girl child.
Betty is a passionate and prolific speaker with worldwide acclaim and she is believed to be one of the few women in the world to present at all levels of society and reaching out to millions in the world. A mentor, coach and trainer on gender, girls rights, girls empowerment and leadership, Betty is a great inspiration to many young women leaders she has churned out from her training. Thousands of empowered girls who are now in different professions and leadership positions all over the world are a direct product of Betty `s inspired leadership, mentoring and coaching.
Recently Betty Makoni was appointed to be Trustee of a Global Network of Christians which is based in the United Kingdom fighting against Domestic violence.
Betty has been featured in the first chapter of the best selling book, Women Who Light the Dark by Paola Gianturco which was launched in New York in September 2007. Betty Makoni being a former beneficiary of a scholarship for disadvantaged girls, has over 5000 girls benefiting from a girls scholarship program. Daily sexually abused girls are being rescued from abusive environments and reinstated in school and reunified with child friendly family members.
Realising the great contribution Betty Makoni has made in Zimbabwe to the development of future women, she has received eighteen global national and global awards and the most recent is the CNN 2009 Hero award for protection of the powerless. She has received the coveted United Nations Red Ribbon award, Ginetta Sagan –Amnesty International award, Zimbabwe National contribution award, two global children`s awards and she has been chosen as one of the ten outstanding young people in the world.
Girls all over the world see Betty Makoni as a role model and hundreds already walk in her footsteps.
Betty is married to Engineer Irvine Nyamapfene and the couple has 3 boys.

Learn more about Betty and The Girl Child Network