GBV unit to fully operate soon

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While calls to end gender-based violence (GBV) have been intensified and echoed throughout the country, the UFH GBV Task Team members have also intensified their efforts to ensure the university’s first-ever GBV-Unit starts operating soon.

Dr Ellen Rungani, HOD and Senior Lecturer in the Business Management Department serves as the team’s Chairperson. According to her,  the unit is expected to be fully operational by March 2021.  The unit’s organisational structure is currently with the Human Resources Department for costing and grading of positions. A recruitment process is also underway. Once that process is done,  the costed structure will be sent to the Management Executive Committee for approval.

“However, in order to kick start the process,  we have begun recruiting an Interim Director and an Administrator.   the Interim Director will also act as a Reporting Officer to allow the handling and prioritising of pending and new GBV cases”, said Dr Rungani.

Background

In 2019, the University took a zero-tolerance approach against GBV incidents on campus when Senate approved the Gender-Based Violence Policy – in order to deal effectively and decisively with reported  GBV cases.  Click here for the full policy:

https://www.ufh.ac.za/sites/default/files/UFH%20Harassment%2C%20Sexual%20Harassment%20and%20Gender%20Based%20Violence%20Policy.pdf

On 30 September and 1 October 2019  in Alice and  East London campuses respectively,  the university hosted its first-ever GBV Day.  The establishment of the  GBV unit was announced during the two-day event.   The centre will be staffed with trained reporting officers who are equipped with the knowledge and sensitivity to deal with GBV and sexual harassment cases.

Objective

The core objective of the unit is to take charge of handling GBV and sexual harassment cases at institutional level.  It will provide counselling to the victims and ensure that ALL perpetrators are accountable for their actions. The unit will work with all university stakeholders to raise awareness about the GBV policy and reporting procedures.