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Message from the Rector & Vice-Chancellor - Wear your red and black in support of the #TotalShutdown campaign

REMINDER: Wear your red and black in support of the #TotalShutdown campaign

Dear students, staff and academics,

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) stands in solidarity with women across South Africa who will observe and participate in marches as part of next Wednesday’s #TotalShutdown against gender-based violence.

On August 1, the start of Women's Month in South Africa, marches will take place simultaneously in every major city for The Total Shutdown: Intersectional Women’s March Against Gender-Based Violence.

I call on all students, staff and academics to break away from their usual work duties or University-related activities from 1pm to 1.30pm on Wednesday, as a gesture of solidarity. In addition, I urge everyone to wear red and black on the day - the colours the organisers have chosen to highlight activism against gender-based violence.

As a University we endorse any campaign that condemns violence against women. UWC has made meaningful strides in the empowerment of women across our campus community. The University plays a significant role in grooming strong women leaders for all sectors of society – from the arts and academia, to science and sport.

During Women’s Month, our women leaders will be leading dialogues and debate about women in ICT; the role of women in land, agriculture and natural resource issues; women in small business, and more.

On August 9, 1956, Lilian Ngoyi and others led some 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in a historic protest against the apartheid regime. The University salutes these pioneering women and echoes their call of “wathint' abafazi, wathint'mbokodo” – “[When] you strike a woman, you strike a rock”.

Prof Tyrone Pretorius
Vice-Chancellor and Rector
University of the Western Cape