2006• Human Rights

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Fatima Meer

Professor Meer is, among others, the Director of the Institute for Black Research at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Honorary Research Fellow in the Sociology Department and Editor at Madiba Publishers, which promotes research and writing on the experiences of previously disenfranchised South Africans.

She is the recipient of a number of awards and honorary degrees nationally and internationally. She received the 'Woman who has Manifest Excellence in her Community and Country Award' from the Islamic Unity Convention Women's Forum, Cape Town, June 1998. In 1999 she was elected as one of the 'Top 100
Women Who Shook South Africa' by Femina magazine, a leading women's
magazine in the country. Only three Indian women were selected. She is also the
recipient of the December 1996 'Acharya Kakasaheb Kalekar Universal Harmony Award', for serving humanity through universal harmony, understanding
and fellowship amongst religious groups, cultures, communities, ethnic
groups, languages and traditions.

Professor Meer has also been the
January 2003 recipient of the Pravasi

contribution to promoting the honour and prestige of India and in fostering the interests of overseas Indians. She was the only South African to receive the award in 2003 and the only woman awardee worldwide in that year.

She had been banned repeatedly for one period of two years and two periods
of five years; detained without trial for five months in 1975 and had suffered two bomb attacks and survived an assassination attempt.

She was one of the first women to be banned in 1956 and her banning was renewed in 1976 for five years and repeated for a further 5 years in 1981. She was imprisoned in solitary confinement in 1976 and has survived two assassination attempts.

She has authored over twenty-five books and was editor-in-chief of eighteen
publications, her major publications being the first authorised biography of Nelson Mandela, Higher than Hope, published in 13 languages and 'The South African Gandhi: The Speeches and Writings of MK Gandhi'.