Ms. Thandiwe Matthews is a South African attorney, who forms part of a joint PhD scholarship programme between the ISS and the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Law (under the South African Research Chair in Law, Equality and Social Justice). Her doctoral research adopts a socio-legal approach to explore the role of constitutionally protected human rights to address structural inequalities of race, gender, class and age in post-1994 South Africa, with a specific focus on the right to social protection. Her academic interests lie in analysing the relationship between human rights, governance, the economy and society, and her work has been published in the Oxford Journal of Human Rights Practice, the South African Journal on Human Rights and Development Southern Africa.
Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, Thandiwe was appointed as a Senior Researcher: Civil and Political Rights at the SA Human Rights Commission, where she was also a Senior Legal Officer, monitoring the advancement and protection of human rights. She started her legal career at DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in Johannesburg, first as a candidate attorney and later appointed as an Associate: Dispute Resolution.
She is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fulbright - Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme (2015/2016) based at the University of Minnesota’s Law School, and worked at Human Rights Watch in New York as a professional affiliate focusing on global human rights monitoring methods to reducing inequalities.
Thandiwe holds a Masters in Development Studies (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam), Bachelor of Laws (University of the Witwatersrand) and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (University of Cape Town).