UWC condemns gender violence on Nigerian girls
The abduction of 230 Nigerian school girls in the northern town of Chibok in Nigeria has had social networking platforms worldwide buzzing with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. The University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Gender Equity Unit did a silent demonstration this past month to raise awareness at the University’s Bellville campus.
The head of the Gender Equity Unit at UWC, Mary Hames, says they have been busy with the
campaign for most of last month and that student support has been visible and constant.
“We have decided to keep the campaign as an on-going protest, so that we are consistent in our
fight against gender violence.
Gender violence is an on-going plight - the Nigerian girls are not the only girls whose rights have been violated. There is the practice of ukuThwala in South Africa where young girls are abducted and forced into marriage with older men – often with the consent of their parents – and in many cases it is not what the girls want,” she adds.
Hames says implementing the Bring Back Our Girls campaign at the University is a way of building solidarity and making people conscious of what is happening locally and on the rest of the African continent: “People see us standing with our posters and they want to know what is happening. We rally support by informing them about the campaign and what we hope to achieve through it. We have staff and students originating from Nigeria, and through showing solidarity we build community.”
She concluded by saying that there has been consistent and solid support from staff and students and that this protest shows that UWC is still true to its commitment to eradicate injustices and instil a human consciousness.