UNIZULU Continues Its Fight Against Gender-Based ViolenceUNIZULU Continues Its Fight Against Gender-Based ViolenceThe University of Zululand (UNIZULU) is optimistic and dedicated to the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) that is currently hard-hitting South Africa.
As a result, the University is steadfast in its mission to continue fighting gender-based violence.
UNIZULU’s Student Services Department (SSD), in partnership with Drama in Aids Education (DramAide), have held a series of events that are aimed at attracting awareness to students and staff on the fight against GBV.
The Dean of Students at UNIZULU, Sibusiso Mchunu, has also emphasised that the information shared throughout the events is directed at every citizen that is affected by GBV and that it is imperative that students disseminate this information to relevant affected parties.
“We are not only doing these events for students,” said Mchunu, “We are doing it for the country. We are sure that (after educating them) they will share what we are educating them about gender- based violence to their communities,” he said.
Mchunu additionally said, “The institution is an extension of our society. It’s not insulated with the threats that are faced by our society. Our ‘fight against gender-based violence’ campaigns are going to continue until there is no gender violence. So, we cannot tire. The issue is still a problem, so we are not going to stop until we are satisfied with the statistics.”
In 2016, the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) annual report reflected an increase in the number of the murder of women. According to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), experiences of sexual violence by a partner was highest among women who are divorced or separated, followed by those who are living together with their partners but not married.
Within the last two months, UNIZULU has held three events aimed at supporting the country’s fight against GBV. One of these events include the Black Thursdays campaign aimed at uniting and conscientising the UNIZULU community in the fight against women and children abuse.
According to Sphamandla Mafuleka, who is part of the team managing the GBV campaigns at the University, the main strategy of ending gender-based violence is to change the community’s perception about the problem. “If you want to change the community’s perception, you do it through education. Our students go to class to learn, but there are things that you cannot teach them in class. Our team aims to fill that gap; to teach them about life. We want to change the community’s perception of gender-based violence,” he said.
In conclusion, Mafuleka said that the team will be visiting the UNIZULU Richards Bay Campus as part of the university’s continued fight against GBV.
– Samkele Sokhela