We, the staff of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), stand against the raging pandemic of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) that continues to ravage South Africa. As scholars, many of us know the statistics all too well — a national femicide rate five times the global average, more than 120,000 incidents reported to the national GBV and Femicide Command Centre in the first three (3) weeks of national lockdown in the fight against COVID-19. For each name added to the list of widely reported victims of GBV, we know that there are hundreds more who remain unnamed, attacked because they are women, girls, gender non-binary or questioning.
UJ staff extend condolences to the survivors and victims of GBV as well as those left to mourn them, their families, and their communities. We commit ourselves to confront GBV on our campuses, in neighbouring communities, in our city and nation as we disrupt heteronormative patriarchy towards building a gender-equal society free of Gender-Based Violence.
UJ takes seriously our role as an international Pan-African institution of higher learning charged with educating future leaders of South Africa and the African continent. Time spent studying at UJ must nurture students intellectually, socially, and ethically to be accountable and hold others to account to foster cultures of gender equity as they navigate various professional and social spaces. As a university that values teaching, we commit to developing and teaching curricula that foster gender equality and justice. We seek to foster transparency and accountability on our campuses, lecture theatres and classrooms with zero tolerance for Gender-Based Violence.
Where any of us falter in upholding the principles and practices required to enact a gender-equitable UJ free of Gender-Based Violence, we pledge to address violations transparently with a victim-centred approach.
As researchers, we recognise the role we play in driving national conversations. We declare that our research will continue to enrich understanding of our society toward creating a world in which the safety of women, gender and non-binary persons is indisputable. We commit to fostering institutional structures of support and funding that prioritise the safety of women researchers at various stages in their careers, creating a pipeline for women in university leadership.
In teaching, research, and administration, we the staff of UJ undertake to ensure the holistic safety of women at our institution and far beyond our walls through the work that we do.
Issued by University Senate
University of Johannesburg