Zeenat Adam and the Conscience Convoy

Johannesburg based civil rights activist, Zeenat Adam was among participants from 55 countries who took part in the “Conscience Convoy” from Istanbul to the Syria border to highlight the abhorrent artrocities perpetrated against by the girls and women in the war torn country.


The all woman convoy marked the International Women’s Day  (March 15) with a powerful message to the world to act against the war lords who apart from the wanton destruction of Syria to stop the rape, murder, torture and detention without trial.


Ms Adam pointed out that between March 2011 to November 27, 24 746 women were killed. No less than 85% by the Syrian authorities. Isis and other groups were responsible for 2.5% of the deaths of women.

She also revealed that 12 986 women died from torture, almost half were girls with 51 killed by extremists.

Writing in the Mercury, Ms Adam said “ the spate of arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances and abductions continued unabated since the first uprisings, inspired by the Arab Spring in 2011.”


She pointed out that as a South African former diplomat and human rights activist who have raised awareness about the plight of the Syrian people, she felt compelled to join the convoy.

“Women face the most vulnerabilities in war, and many have been targeted while trying to protect their children. According to the Convoy organisors, the Syrian government does not distinguish between children and adult women and has been responsible for more than 400 000 arbitrary deaths.”


to her profile on social media, Zeenat Adam is a Masters Graduate of International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. After completion of her degree, Zeenat filled various roles in media, research and civil society movements in South Africa until joining the Department of Foreign Affairs (Department of International Relations and Cooperation) in 2002.


As a career diplomat, Zeenat served on the Levant and Gulf States Directorates within the Middle East Chief Directorate of the Department before being posted abroad to serve as Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the South Africa Embassy in the Gulf State of Qatar for a period of 5 years, within which she also served as the Chargé d’Affaires and Head of Mission in 2007. Upon returning to South Africa, Zeenat served as the Director of Foreign Service for the volatile region of the Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, where she was responsible for the facilitation of South Africa’s relations with countries in that region and in providing policy direction on the political dynamics in Sudan, Somalia, Madagascar, and other countries in East Africa. Before leaving the Department of International Relations & Cooperation, Zeenat served for a brief period in the Directorate: Central Europe.


passion remains political analyses of the Middle East and Africa and exploring international political issues through dialogue with governmental and non-governmental actors and players in the international arena.  Zeenat was recognized for her talent when Mail and Guardian listed her as one of the top 200 Youth in the country in 2011. She was also featured in the Public Service magazine and was acclaimed as a role model for South African women in Destiny Magazine. In addition, in 2012, Ms Adam was short-listed as a Rising Star in the Public Service.



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