Ambassador: Carol Bouwer


It’s in challenging times such as these that we are reminded of how much we need one another. That’s why we’re delighted to announce Carol Bouwer, a much-loved television presenter and producer has partnered with us to help strengthen our women-led initiatives. Carol is an obvious choice as an ambassador for 1000Women1Voice: she actively works to empower and uplift women through her various initiatives, whether it’s on TV, at summits and award shows or through her businesses – media, communications, mining, and property development – and philanthropic work. An independent and forthright thinker, Carol leads with compassion while building platforms to recognise the role women play in the social, political, and economic development of South Africa. That is why through her company, Carol Bouwer Productions, she has created projects designed to honour women in a society that often erases their gains. Her talk-show broadcast on SABC, Motswako enters its twentieth season in 2020. The show addresses pertinent women issues such as empowerment and women’s leadership across various fields. Carol Bouwer Productions has helped nurture many young graduates who are now renowned as producers in their own right. As Motswako continues to entertain and educate viewers, Carol launched the Mbokodo Awards to recognise women who have shown leadership, fostered growth and made efforts to strengthen the arts. Carol believes the arts are an essential part of an ever evolving nation and the awards recognise the role that women play as custodians of the family and they are key in engendering heritage which builds the identity of future generations. Carol also launched African Odyssey, an annual summit for women entrepreneurs. The creation of a summit to empower young women in business came about as a tool to connect young entrepreneurs to international opportunities and The African Odyssey summit is now in year four. Bouwer can be described as fearless and empowering. In 2008 she chaired a women’s forum in parliament and spearheaded the legislation of the anti-bullying and anti-drug abuse laws in South African schools. As director of Bazi developments, which she sold in 2015, she oversaw the correction of thousands of badly built RDP homes and the creation of a higher standard of gap houses in the Western Cape. Her desire to ensure people’s dignity is not stripped by their dwelling meant she was a hard taskmaster but the housing challenges continue and it is her hope that all children will be guaranteed their basic human right to an adequate shelter! Born in Rockville Soweto, Carol was encouraged to dream and her biggest dream was to attain success. Success being self-actualization rather than money in the bank! Carol says she has never believed that women should be treated preferentially, but she is committed to seeing women receiving their fair share and equal opportunity. She is passionate about supporting women in abusive situations and was proud to host the launch of the Thuthuzela Women Centres with the department of Justice as well as USAID. Carol’s advocacy dates to her time when she founded Motswako as well as her time serving on the board of the Amy Biehl Foundation. In 2018, Carol was appointed UNICEF SA Special Advocate for women and children and founded South Africa’s Influential Women Circle to support her role. Carol’s journey of philanthropy has been consistent and passionate. She also served on the Second Chance panel, an NGO that provides care for young people and adults recovering from substance abuse. Over the past few years, Carol has facilitated a series of high-level engagements between UNICEF South Africa and South African leaders, private sector executives and high net-worth individuals and has hosted events to advance the child agenda in South Africa.