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Dr Zakeera Docrat is the Quote This Woman+ Voices of the Year winner in the Social Development & Communications category for the year 2022. Zakeera is a NIHSS Post Doc research fellow at UWC, author, Women in Science Award winner, ALASA award winner, Sunday World Heroic Woman in Science and Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans. She is the first PhD graduate in South Africa specialising in Forensic Linguistics. Her research challenges the status quo of using only English in the South African legal system – as well as in judgments. 

She is a champion of linguistic rights and equality for South Africans and actively questions the monolingual approach of our justice system as a direct contravention of the constitution. She is the leading expert in her field in South Africa and, as such, has been called upon to provide expert commentary  on several high-profile trials in South African courts. 

She is a part of various networks and research groups to which she contributes to by disseminating her current research and opinions. These networks primarily consist of students, community language activists, academics and researchers. She has also found that by speaking on community based radio stations and being interviewed in and writing opinion pieces in the provincial newspapers (Daily Dispatch and Herald) that she is reaching the broader community and not only the academic community through The Conversation Africa.

Education: Docrat has a PhD in African Language Studies with a focus on Forensic and Legal Linguistics from Rhodes University.

Zakeera’s quote on the importance for women+ to use their voices:

“As women our voices need to be heard, we are powerful, insightful, intelligent, caring and selfless individuals, we therefore have the unique ability to affect positive change for the benefit of society.”

Contact jordan@quotethiswoman.org.za to Interview Zakeera For Your Next Story.