South Africa: 16 Days of Activism - Attitude and Caring Is Key

opinion

How can we break the cycle of bad influences resulting in violence and abuse? How can we interrupt the process of elevating patriarchal and misogynistic role models?

The international awareness campaign "16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence", taking place from 25 November to 10 December 2019, provides an appropriate opportunity for higher education institutions to reflect on a crucial issue touching the lives of many women across the country - and the world.

This year has been another challenging one when it comes to violence in general, and specifically gender-based violence in higher education.

It was marked by two traumatic incidents: the rape and murder of University of Cape Town media and film studies student Uyinene Mrwetyana and the murder of University of the Western Cape theology student Jesse Hess.

These were painful reminders of the pervasive misogyny and patriarchal violence that impedes the freedom of women in South Africa.

As in the rest of the country, students, staff members and stakeholders of the University of the Free State (UFS) showed up en masse in response, dressed in black, to demonstrate their outrage at gender-based violence in a silent march on our Bloemfontein campus in September. The sincerity and...

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