From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Meredeth Turshen
Nominee: Bene E. Madunagu, professor of botany at the University of Calabar, Nigeria
Bene E. Madunagu, a founding member of Women In Nigeria (WIN), is a professor of botany at the University of Calabar, Nigeria, where she is an active member of the Nigerian Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU). A radical socialist and feminist activist since the 1970s, Bene founded Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) with Grace Osakue in 1993.
Currently, she chairs the board of the Calabar International Centre for Research, Information and Documentation (CIINSTRID), which executes a critical and anti-sexist program for male adolescents. She also chairs the boards of the International Centre for Reproductive and Sexual Rights (INCRESE) and Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, and is a board member of AMANITARE (African Partnership for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Women and Girls).
In 2003, Bene became the General Coordinator of DAWN (Development Alternatives With Women for a New Era), a network of women scholars and activists from the global South who are committed to working for gender justice, economic justice, and democracy.