Liyema Somnono

- 2022

Updated January 2024

Liyema is a gender and human rights activist. She is currently employed as a paralegal at SWEAT (Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task Force) and is a member of the drafting team for the national legislation to decriminalize sex work. Liyema is a member of the Eastern Cape AIDS Council Women’s Sector and serves on the Young Women’s HIV Prevention Council.


Liyema was a national leader in mobilizing testimonials for public comment in favor of South Africa’s sex worker decriminalization bill (which has been put on hold for now). She also initiated community-led monitoring, highlighting the struggles of young women in rural Eastern Cape to access HIV prevention and family planning services.



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