Prof Cherryl Walker

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Prof Cherryl Walker is Professor of Sociology at Stellenbosch University, with extensive research and applied experience in land reform, rural development and gender studies spanning the academic, state and NGO sectors. Current research interests include the land restitution programme in South Africa, women’s land rights in contexts of major social change, the shifting dynamics around land and identity, and the intersection of environmental and land issues in South Africa and the region. She was a founding member of the land-rights group, the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) in 1979, and Natal convenor of the Surplus People Project in the early 1980s, a research collective that produced a five-volume study of forced population removals nationally under apartheid. Between 1995 and 2000 she served on South Africa’s Commission on Restitution of Land Rights as Regional Land Claims Commissioner for the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Her most recent books are Landmarked: Land Claims and Land Restitution in South Africa (2008) and the co-edited collection Land, Memory, Reconstruction and Justice (2010, with A Bohlin, R Hall & T Kepe). Previous books are Women and Resistance in South Africa (1982, 1991), The Surplus People (1985, co-authored with L Platzky) and the edited collection Women and Gender in Southern Africa to 1945 (1990). In 2010 she was the lead researcher in a ten-country study on ‘African Women’s Land Rights’ under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Africa, and in 2008 was a member of the Expert Consultative Team advising on the drafting of a ‘Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa’ for the African Union. Currently she serves on the international advisory board of the Journal of Peasant Studies and the editorial board of Social Dynamics.


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