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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Call for research on gendered violence

AWARENESS: The Student Affairs Division celebrated Women’s Day by hosting a webinar to explore factors contributing to gender-based violence and contributors shed light on systemic blind spots and best practices in confronting this gross human rights violation. AWARENESS: The Student Affairs Division celebrated Women’s Day by hosting a webinar to explore factors contributing to gender-based violence and contributors shed light on systemic blind spots and best practices in confronting this gross human rights violation.

During a recent gender-based violence (GBV) roundtable webinar hosted by the Student Affairs Division to celebrate Women’s Day contributors called for an integrated approach to combating this scourge on CPUT campuses.

The contributors, composed of leaders in the Higher Education sector, civil society and government, said ongoing monitoring and evaluation of actions dealing with GBV were needed to inform interventions. They advocated for GBV ambassadors especially within the Student Affairs Division.

Among the contributors there was a panel consisting of Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (Commission for Gender Equality: Commissioner), Nonkosi Tyolwana (Director of Transformation at CPUT), Dellicia de Vos (CPUT’s Disability Unit), Nkokheli Mankayi (Activate Network and CPUT Alumnus), Kanyisa Booi (Matriarch and Sons) and Central Student Representative Council President, Phinda Swartbooi.

The contributors made a case for a thorough investigation into prevalence and under-reporting of GBV cases and further argued that sexual reproductive health and psychological issues must also be considered when dealing with GBV and not just its physical effects.

They also called for the Student Representative Council’s commitment to co-ordinate other student structures to come up with a student-centred approach to address GBV.

They highlighted the need for policy interventions to be more inclusive of marginalised groups such as people with disabilities and the LGBTQI community. They clarified that gendered violence does not only refer to male- female abuse exclusively, but also includes male - on - male as well as female – on - female violence.

“The key takeaway from this session is to secure safe learning spaces within Higher Education; to look at different initiatives and ways to work constructively and collectively to make a change,” says Louisa Brits, Head of Student Counselling and one of the webinar’s organisers.

“By highlighting experiences of GBV from different communities (including marginalised groups) within the campuses will inform different programme interventions; practical and implementable solutions will be the important part of awareness and instrumental to sensitise others about GBV.”

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za