Wits SRC Holds ‘Inkundla Yamakhosikazi’ Event For Women
The Student Representative Council Support Office of the University of Witwatersrand has held an event called ‘Inkundla Yamakhosikazi’. The aim of the event was to provide a safe space for young black women to meet and discuss the issues they face and establish a way forward for themselves.
The first Inkundla Yamakhosikazi event was held on Wednesday 25 August 2021 in response to the harsh conditions young women at the University of Witwatersrand have been facing.
The Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) Support Officer Solani Buthelezi says that these young women have been left to their own devices to deal with the brutality that they face and they have decided to forge a way forward for themselves because of this.
‘Inkundla’ is a very important decision-making council in the isiZulu culture and is usually only attended by men. Buthelezi says that as part of a revolution ideas like this where men are the only ones fit to discuss issues and make a way forward for society must be reimagined and decolonised.
“The idea that it is only men that are fit to caucus and make a way forward for society is bogus and it is that very reason why we called it Inkundla Yamakhosikazi,” says Buthelezi.
“Amakhosikazi, to be apart of that class, it means that you’re a queen. The affirmation that we are making there is that every young woman by virtue of being a young woman is born a queen.” - Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) Support Officer Solani Buthelezi.
She says that there is no need for young woman to do anything such as perform or get married for them to acquire the status of ‘Amakhosikazi’.
This event is amongst many which have launched in response to the gender-based violence (GBV) faced by women in South Africa.
Recently Higher Health South Africa released a set of instruments, guidelines and protocols that will aid in developing the sectoral GBV Policy Framework into practical implementation across campuses at institutions of higher learning across the country.
The document containing these protocols was released during a webinar on GBV in the higher education sector.
The instruments provide directives to institutions and management in higher learning on how to engage the necessary infrastructure in order to create a comprehensive response to cases of sexual and gender misconduct, rape and sexual assaults.
This will ensure that the sectoral GBV Policy Framework -launched by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in 2020- is turned into action through the implementation of uidelines on sexual and gender related misconduct in Post-School Education and Training (PSET) institutions; implementation of the protocol on rape and sexual assault cases, and implementation of the protocol on the PSET Code of Ethics.
These protocols will ensure the following:
- the reporting of cases;
- the maintenance of disciplinary systems;
- safeguarding evidence;
- provision of rape kits;
- psychosocial support services
- survivor-friendly infrastructure are rolled out across the sector.
“There is a lot of work that needs to happen… We should also be ready… to intervene… [to] stop GBV on our campuses. For that, we need to put structures, policies, infrastructure, systems, and controls in place [including] safe guarding evidence, should a case of assault, rape or GBV happen on our campuses.”- Higher Health CEO, Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia.
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