By Nangamso Myoli
The Equity and Institutional Culture Office is embarking on 22 staff workshops at Rhodes University to highlight and educate on issues of gender – based violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment. The workshops are taking place from 19 January to 19 March 2019 focusing on raising awareness of staff and students on issues of sexual violence in South African Education Institutions, including Rhodes University.
The workshops are facilitated by the National Institute Community Development and Management (NICDAM). This non- profit organization offers tailored training programmers and evidence based interventions in the fields of health, social development and education.
NICDAM Facilitator Samphire Makube said every staff member in the university has a role to play when it comes to these issues. “We want to make sure this is a behavioral change process, the staff members can even identity students that are being sexually harrassed or abused”.
During the workshop the facilitators emphasised the myths that can contribute to women becoming victims of violence and abuse. They broke down the reason why people rape and explained what is sexual harassment. The staff were informrd on the policies and procedures regarding harassment and assault in the institution, they were also given a clear flowchart on reporting any harassment and assault at Rhode University.
The Anti – Harassment and Discrimination Manager at Rhodes University, Dr Zethu Mkhize explained that many staff members do not know that sexual harassment is a serious misconduct in the institution and that it could lead to dismissal. “The hope is that they apply the knowledge learnt from this workshop, they report harassment when they see it and also offer support to the victims of sexual harassment not only in the workplace but in the community as well”.
To report sexual harassment please contact Dry Mkhize an email at email@example.com , call 046 603 8187 or visit her at the Stephen Biko Building, office 337.