Marchers take a stand on gender equality

Students and staff on the campus in Mahikeng took part in a community march in support of gender equality on Friday 4 October.

The aim of the recent march in Mahikeng was to embrace diversity and promote gender awareness.

The organisers of the event were the LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual) committee, with the support of the Student Life Office and the Student Campus Council. The aim was to embrace diversity and gender awareness and to show solidarity with LGBTIQA+ people.

The march, called Pride Q'Nnexion, followed on the heels of the Gender Awareness Week that was held across the NWU’s campuses in August. It began at the main gate and ended at the student centre.

Affecting communities

Bakang Morare, LGBTIQA+ committee leader, says gender-based violence and homophobia are among the many issues affecting communities cross-sectionally in South Africa, irrespective of race and class.

“The issues concerning GBV at universities have come to the fore in recent months, owing to violence against students at some South African universities.”

The march emphasised the need to counter discrimination. Prejudice of any kind is often the basis for violence and stigmatisation, which affect vulnerable groups particularly.

In the face of such violence and discrimination, Bakang encourages the university to support calls for unity and solidarity with marginalised groups.

“This should lead to positive actions and affirmations to raise awareness of the need to create conditions in which structural inequality (on the basis of gender, class and race) can be addressed.”