26 March 2019

South Africa: Academics Highlight Abuse of Sex for Jobs or Marks At Universities

Academics from tertiary institutions around South Africa have written to the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, calling for action on sexual offences that occur on university campuses.

A group of academics have written an open letter to Naledi Pandor, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, highlighting issues of gender-based violence, including sexual violence and sexual harassment on campuses.

"Our focus is on both academics and administrative staff who are exceptionally vulnerable. Recent controversies, including the video from (University of Fort Hare), the programme, Checkpoint, from eNCA recently and the Unisa issue in the space of two weeks, created a revived sense of urgency about these problems in our institutions. We then observed that these problems have been going on for a while, especially within the university sector," said one of the signatories of the letter, Dr Babalwa Magoqwana (a senior lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Nelson Mandela University).

The letter focused extensively on issues surrounding the phenomenon of using sex as a currency - either for jobs or for marks.

"It is also our experience that black women staff members, who have minority and junior status in Higher Education, are under pressure to exchange sexual...

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