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Friday, 11 October 2019

Call for action to end GBV in universities

END RAPE CULTURE: Some of the speakers who addressed the recent Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education Dialogue which was held on the Bellville Campus. END RAPE CULTURE: Some of the speakers who addressed the recent Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education Dialogue which was held on the Bellville Campus.

Delegates attending the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Higher Education Dialogue called for action to tackle issues of GBV head-on.

Held on the Bellville Campus this week, the dialogue was organised by the Division of Student Affairs in partnership with the Institutional Transformation Unit in response to the recent spate of sexual assault, GBV and femicide incidents perpetrated against women in higher education institutions.

The dialogue was attended by student leaders and staff members of CPUT, University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University and gender activists. Also in attendance were officials from the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology as well as the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).

Prem Coopoo, CPUT’s Dean of Students, said GBV was the new silent pandemic that required everyone to be activists in their homes. “The real solution to GBV lies with men, men should tell perpetrators that they will expose them,” said Coopoo.

She added that various forms of support should be given to victims of GBV and that the greatest travesty of justice is when anyone approaches victims of rape and GBV to withdraw charges against their perpetrators.

CPUT Central SRC President, Sipho Mokoena, lamented the fact no one speaks to the rapist but women are taught to avoid rape by wearing certain type of clothing and walking in certain places at certain times.

Sixolile Ngcobo, CGE’s Provincial Manager, said now was the time to take action and for individuals to realise that solutions to GBV begin with their actions and reactions.

Co-ordinator: Gender Non-Violence at Stellenbosch University, Thembelihle Bongwana, observed that women had once in their lives been forced to perform sexual favours for men in order to even enter the higher education space both for learning and accommodation purposes.

“In the context of our institutions of higher learning, it is quite imperative that we call for heightened oversight and review of existing policies, disciplinary codes, and bridge the gap in much needed policy reform through our Institutional Forums, and this can only happen if it is championed by chancellors, Rectorates, DVCs, Faculty Deans, Senior Management Teams and other Statutory Bodies.”

Dr Navindhra Naidoo, Emergency Medical Sciences senior lecturer at CPUT, asserted that hegemonic masculinity perpetuated the dominant social position of men and the subordinate social position of women

Written by Kwanele Butana


Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.