gender with flair

Workshops in block art were held on all three campuses. Pictured here are the blocks created on the campuses.


Let’s face it: an awareness campaign runs the risk of being boring. Unless you boost it with a healthy dose of art and music.

This is exactly what the NWU did during its Gender Awareness Week from 2 to 8 August. This week-long event consisted of various workshops, seminars, readings, exhibitions and even a music concert.


These events focused on raising awareness of gender matters in the workplace, society and communities. The campaign was aimed mainly at staff and students, but also included members of the community.


Important topics such as inclusion and LGBTIQ+ related issues were on the agenda, along with other gender issues, especially those affecting women.


The campaign coincided with Women’s Month, making it an ideal opportunity for the three campuses of the NWU to focus on women.


Conscious initiative raises awareness


“We wanted to raise awareness of the links between gender and identity, identity and difference and difference and the need for an inclusive perspective on diversity,” says Prof Robert Balfour, deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning.


“Diversity and the inclusion of diversity are integral to the NWU’s vision and commitment to social justice,” he says.


“Gender can lead to exclusion or marginalisation. Examples of the effects of exclusion include abuse of women, harassment in the workplace and patriarchy, among others. This is why raising awareness is so essential.”


Prof Robert says it is also important that the university – as a newly restructured institution with a new strategy – develops a welcoming culture of inclusion and belonging.


Gender Awareness Week involved the faculties, Student Life office, deans, Marketing and Student Recruitment and Corporate Communication.


For more information about Gender Awareness Week and the exciting events that formed part of it, click here.