Khanyisa founded and currently leads PUPA, a grassroots organisation, and also sits on the Eastern Cape Provincial Council on AIDS. She worked as a peer educator on sexual health and rights and has advocated for disability rights. After joining the Networking HIV/AIDS Community of South Africa (NACOSA), she pursued her interests through leadership roles in the NGO sector and the Women’s Sector of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).
Khanyisa advocated for safer approaches to male circumcision in traditionally circumcising communities in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. She engaged local leaders and government officials in dialogues about safe male circumcision and piloted a program to educate adolescent boys about their options, safety during the traditional circumcision process and how to protect themselves from HIV. A key focus throughout her work was on involving women—especially mothers—in conversations about male circumcision to ensure their meaningful engagement. Khanyisa also frequently engaged with South African and international media to help spread accurate information about both traditional and medical male circumcision.
In Their Own Words
We need to mean it when we say we want to involve communities at the grassroots level. Policies are good, but when they fail, communities, women and girls bear the brunt.
Khanyisa’s Media Advocacy:
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