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 Department of Women’s and Gender Studies hosts collaborative colloquium with focus on the Youth and non-violence

Department of Women’s and Gender Studies hosts collaborative colloquium with focus on the Youth and non-violence


Dr Sisa Ngabaza and UWC students                                                     The Research team​

Prof Tamara Shefer from the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies played a lead role in hosting a colloquium on ‘Young people engaging in/for non-violence and equality: challenges, opportunities and constraints.’ The two-day event which took place on 29 and 30 September, was held at STIAS in Stellenbosch. The colloquium brought together over 65 participants, included 28 presentations and was part of the three-year project funded by the NRF and the Academy of Finland, of which Prof Shefer is a principal investigator.

A key feature of the event was that the participants included activists, practitioners, researchers and scholars who engaged in thinking about and working with young people towards challenging violence and social inequalities, expressed by continued marginalising, othering and exclusionary practices in societies.  The colloquium provided a valuable space for critical reflection on current policies and practices including community-based and popular campaigns and programmes that are engaging young people in change with respect to non-violence and other forms of social inequality. One of the highlights of the colloquium for UWC was a student presentation of a participatory action photovoice research project on safe and unsafe spaces on campus. Four third year students presented their findings at the colloquium together with Dr Sisa Ngabaza, a UWC lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies.

This colloquium was part of ‘Engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being, a three-year National Research Foundation (NRF) and Academy of Finland funded project, which involves a collaboration between South African and Finnish researchers engaged in critical social science research on current organisational work by and with young people on key areas of social challenge in these respective countries. The research project is based at Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki and the University of the Western Cape and includes research partners at the University of Cape Town (UCT), University of South Africa/Medical Research Council (UNISA), University of Stellenbosch (US) and the NGO, Sonke Gender Justice. Researchers on the project include: Jeff Hearn (Finnish PI), Tamara Shefer (SA PI), Kopano Ratele (SA co PI), Floretta Boonzaier (UCT), Mbuyiselo Botha (Sonke Gender Justice/Gender Commissioner), Katarina Jungar (Hanken), Jukka Lehtonen (Hanken), Rob Pattman (SU) and PhD candidates, Melanie Judge (UWC), Mandisa Malinga (UNISA) and Trevor McArthur (SU).​


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