Seeking Solutions to the GBV Scourge
UKZN’s HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, accompanied by colleagues and 82 Peer Educators, attended the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Imbizo held at the Coastal College, Umlazi, Durban, where students engaged in an open dialogue with the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Manamela.
The Imbizo was a build-up to the launch of the GBV Policy and Strategy Framework that the Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) Health Wellness and Development Centre has been championing on behalf of the University fraternity.
Humanities master’s student, Ms Njabulo Ncwabe, who is a Peer-Educator on the Howard College campus, was one of two students on the panel with Manamela.
The UKZN Peer-Educators were vocal at the event, highlighting realities of GBV and the need for resources to combat the scourge which is apparently also present in residences and on campuses.
Said Manamela, ‘The GBV within the Higher Education system corrupts and erodes constitutional rights to equality, dignity and freedom from all forms of violence.’ He also shared results of a study which found that ‘male dominance is accepted by both male and female students,’ adding that students should be part of finding a solution to this challenge.
UKZN’s HIV/AIDS Programme (CHASU) is committed to advocating for safe spaces on all UKZN campuses as well as raising awareness for the reduction of GBV. As members of the UKZN GBV Task Team under the leadership of the Student Services Division Executive Director, all relevant departments have come together to address this issue by promoting non-discriminatory practices and reducing risky behaviours and all forms of abuse. The team have taken a proactive role in contributing towards the development of a GBV policy and procedure. Through the peer-education and health promotion programmes, the HIV/AIDS Programme has engaged students and staff in dialogue and debate around issues related to GBV and sexual reproductive health and rights.