UFH ROUNDS OFF WOMEN’S MONTH WITH FIRST-EVER GBV VIRTUAL LECTURE
On the last day of Women’s Month (31 August), the University of Fort Hare hosted its first-ever Anti-Gender-Based Violence (GBV) lecture.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sakhela Buhlungu said the lecture was a discussion whose time has arrived.
Themed - Unpacking the UFH GBV Policy and the Way Forward - the virtual event was hosted via Microsoft Teams.
The lecture comes almost a year after the university officially approved and adopted its first-ever Sexual Harassment and GBV policy on 13 September 2019.
The master of ceremonies was Ms Yolokazi Mfuto, a UFH Political Science International Relations MA candidate and GBV activist.
Three alumni and GBV activists who, during their time at UFH, advocated for a GBV-free campus, delivered keynote addresses:
Ms Aphiwe Ntlemeza: a Black Feminist, Sociology Researcher, Writer and Freelancer. She holds a MA Degree from UFH.
Ms Nwabisa Dlova: a Social Worker and Social Justice Activist. She is an intersectional feminist and educator who works for Masimanyane Women’s Rights International Organisation.
Mr Madoda Ludidi: a UFH History and Philosophy graduate with an interest in ethics, political economy, African history and societal theory. He is also the Chairperson of Stand as One, an anti-GBV forum that advocates for sound GBV policies at the university.
Dr Ellen Rungani: UFH GBV Task Team Chairperson,
Mr Onke Giwu: SRC Gender and Transformation Officer
Ms Yonwaba Mbade: UFH GBV Task Team Student Gender Advocacy
The lecture was officially opened by Dr Marianna Oelofsen who serves on the GBV Task Team and is a leading voice and a champion of gender-based violence issues at UFH.
Dr Paul Tladi, HR Director gave a summary of what the policy prescribes in terms of the rights and responsibilities for staff.
He also described the policy as: “a ground-breaking policy for the emancipation of GBV victims within the institution.” According to him, the policy seeks to address issues that were left unattended in the past and have left bleeding scars on affected victims.
Mr Malinge Gqeba, the Dean of Students, spoke about the rights and responsibilities of UFH students in terms of the policy.
The keynote speakers delved deep into the theme of the day as they scrutinized and unpacked the policy. While each speaker shared their own perspective, there was one dominating factor. The policy is good to have, however, much more needs to be done for it to be implemented effectively.
Following the key address, a question and answer session ensued. Facilitated by Mr Njongwezintle “Njongo” Baliso, a postgraduate Business Management student, the session created a robust atmosphere where participants posed challenging questions to the speakers and the panel members.
Prof Sakhela Buhlungu applauded the speakers and organisers of the event. “We need to have more of these discussions. The session was very productive and useful.”
The VC’s closing remarks ended with the following statement: “There is NO excuse for GBV and there is NO excuse for perpetrators”
Recording of the GBV Virtual Lecture: https://youtu.be/DlP2pC1eBbE
by Aretha Linden