In the run up to Women's month Stellenbosch University (SU) wishes to express its solidarity with women and men across our country that will be participating in the campaign Against Gender-based Violence.
“We appeal to all Maties – staff and students - to visually illustrate our support by wearing orange clothing or an orange item that is the colour of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign on Wednesday 1 August 2018. Specifically, we encourage you to also step away from work for a moment of solidarity from 13:00 to 13:30 tomorrow," Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU said in a communiqué to staff and students on Tuesday.
“Our Equality Unit (EqU) at the Centre for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD) at Division Student Affairs is responsible for coordinating awareness campaigns and monitoring gender-based violence at SU. Over many years, the University has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence, thus emphasising our commitment to creating an environment free of gender violence and advancing equal rights for all. Education has been the singular most important correlate and cause that advances equality, social mobility of women and women's and gender rights.
“Gender-based violence is a profound and widespread problem in our communities and in our universities affecting almost every aspect of people's lives. Let's stand together against gender-based violence," said De Villiers.
To address this critical issue, the University recently announced that a gender non-violence response will be set up to coordinate awareness campaigns and monitor gender-based violence. The decision follows the release of the SU EndRapeCulture Report in 2017.
According to the most recent management report to Senate, “the EqU has continued with its comprehensive institutional HIV response actions as well as building upon our institutional unfair discrimination, sexual harassment and harassment services for staff and students. In addition, our Equality Unit is developing an End-Rape culture training manual for students and staff. SU's first student climate survey on gender violence has been developed".
Mr Jaco Greeff Brink, Head of Equality Unit, said that they were developing an online social justice course for all SU staff in cooperation with the Employment Equity (EE) unit in the Human Resources division and the Disability Unit. One of the six modules of this course will focus specifically on matters related to gender violence. The course roll-out will start towards the end of this year.
Through its EqU Stellenbosch University recently made significant contributions to the National Policy Framework on Gender-based Violence in Higher Education Institutions.
Other content to read on the topic of gender-based violence: