Founded in 2017, the Gender and Justice Unit (GJU) is a non-governmental organization that hones in on legal empowerment as one of the most powerful catalysts of gender equality and social justice. GJU utilizes the law as a tool for gender equality and social justice through: strategic litigation, legal research, strategic partnerships and strengthening access to justice through pro bono legal representation, research and advocacy

Our Mission

To implement high-quality feminist programs that advance social justice and gender equality in Malawi

Our Vision

To see a Malawi with citizens who are empowered and engaged, embracing social justice and gender equality


Sarai Chisala Tempelhoff

Executive Director

Malawian human rights lawyer and a legal researcher with over 18 years’ experience on the intersections of VAWG/GBV and the law. Trained as a lawyer, Sarai has gone on to specialize in human rights and democratization in Africa as well as women’s and gender studies. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Gender and Justice Unit (GJU), an organization that focuses on legal empowerment as a catalyst for gender equality and social justice. Through GJU, Sarai provides free legal assistance and trauma support for victims of gender-based violence (GBV); the GJU is conducting research into the experiences of women during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and has developed simplified and translated legal empowerment tools to bridge the gap between women and the justice they seek for GBV. Her research focus has always been on women and access to justice and the intersections between the letter of the law and women’s lived realities. She has blogged, published, conducted training, agitated about, written and researched various aspects of women and the law. Sarai serves on the Boards of AFIDEP, the HIV Justice Network and the Young Feminists Network. She has been named by Apolitical as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2021! Sarai lives and works in Malawi.


18 years’ experience on intersections of VAWG/GBV and the law


Chikondi Mandala

Legal Research Assistant

Chikondi Mandala is a PhD candidate at the University of Kent where she is a Next Generation Scholar. Ms. Mandala has been involved with legal research and maintaining MalawiLII at the Gender and Justice Unit; has conducted research on trade, entrepreneurship and development with the New Markets Lab; has done work on women’s access to justice with the Women Judges Association of Malawi; and has conducted research on the advancement of rights of incarcerated persons with the Centre for Human Rights, Education, Advice, and Assistance. 

She has been a judicial officer for eight years at the Malawi Judiciary. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from Harvard University where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Honours) from the University of Malawi.


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PhD at the University of Kent where she is Next Generation Scholar

Theodora Talumba Mkali

Project Manager


  • Law researcher at the Supreme Court of South Africa and the Supreme Court of Namibia


Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Honours), University of Cape Town

Master of Laws (LLM), University of Cape Town

PhD student, Human rights Law, University of Stellenbosch

Canon Collins Scholar Alumini (2021)

Bridget Kaphamtengo

Finance and Administration Officer

Bridget is responsible for day to day operations, maintaining the Gender and Justice Unit finances, administration and Human Resource Systems. Bridget is a highly detail-oriented individual, eager to contribute towards the building of a strong finance team. Skilled at Financial Reporting, planning and analysis. She also has hands-on experience with different Accounting Software’s, knowledge and understanding of various Accounting and Finance tools.


5 years’ experience in Accounting and Financial Management


Bachelor in Accounting and Finance, Blantyre International University

Deborah Benita Kwilirani

Legal Librarian Associate


She has experience working in Child Rights, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.


Bachelor in Law, Catholic University of Eastern Africa

Master in International Law, Lanzhou University,

Master in Law (LLM), University of South Wales in collaboration with UNICAF

Ipyana Mwathengere

Finance Assistance

Driven and multi-skilled accountant with over three years of experience in effectively providing technical accounting support services 


3years Experience in technical accounting support


ICAM Technician Diploma, MCA

Pursuing Bachelors degree in Accounting, Audit and Information Systems, MCA

Finance Assistance

Tamanda Chadzunda




Diploma in Gender and Development, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources


Yambani Mulemba

Yambani is a lawyer by profession and serves as the current board chairperson. Yambani is a Legal Practitioner and partner in the firm of Knight & Knight, Attorneys & Law Consultants. He has over 18 years’ experience representing corporate and individual clients in trials, arbitration and mediation proceedings in commercial and other matters. He has vast experience in corporate law and company secretarial services.

Thumbiko Msiska

Thumbiko is a Social development professional with substantial experience in designing, managing, implementing,

monitoring and evaluating of country health, capacity building in Health and livelihood security

programs in Malawi. He has 16 years’ experience working in International NGO and development work at community, district and national levels. Thumbiko brings his research skills, in particular his


strength in community scorecard methodologies to the Board.

Welkam Phiri

Welkam has over 14 years’ experience in high level financial accounting,

management, programming and corporate Banking. He is a chartered accountant having worked with a number of reputed institutions in Malawi including the Reserve Bank of Malawi, IndeBank Malawi, Deloitte and Touch, KPMG Malawi, and Leasing and Finance Company of Malawi. He is a qualified auditor and is currently working with Ernest & Young Malawi. He is also pursuing a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Degree with the University of Malawi. Welcome brings to the Board his vast experience and expertise in financial accounting and management, legal and corporate accountability

Lynda Ndovie Jere

Lynda is a dynamic leader who has over 18 years work experience in the development sector. She is a self-starter, innovative thinker, team player and an accomplished

woman with capabilities of handling both programs and projects at different levels. She has worked for both government and non-governmental sectors in Malawi. She is currently heading the United States African Development Foundation in Malawi as the Country Program Coordinator. Lynda brings her significant experience in project management and international development to the Board.

Habiba Osman

Annabel Raw