Inaugural Professorial Address of Prof Beatrice Olutoyin Opeolu Official start: August 26 @ 6:00 pm. Duration: 3h 30m

Wednesday, 07 August 2019

Spotlight falls on gender diversity and inclusion

 ACTIVISM: The speakers who addressed the recent Faculty of Business and Management Sciences’ annual Diversity Seminar to discuss gender diversity and inclusion. ACTIVISM: The speakers who addressed the recent Faculty of Business and Management Sciences’ annual Diversity Seminar to discuss gender diversity and inclusion.

Hundreds of students attended the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences’ annual Diversity Seminar to discuss gender diversity and inclusion.

Held recently on the District Six Campus, the seminar was organised by Mandie Richards, a senior lecturer in the faculty, in collaboration with the Commission for Gender Equality and the Department of Business and Information Administration.

Keynote speaker Dr Marlene Le Roux, Artscape Theatre Centre CEO, spoke about her role as a gender and disability activist.

Le Roux sent a stern warning to those who say people must just get on with their lives if they have never experienced apartheid. She said she comes from a family of farmworkers and that while growing up as a child in Wellington she had to share a bed with two others.

She added that humanity and social justice are important and urged the students not to lead activism campaigns only when they raise issues affecting their personal needs.

Faculty of Business and Management Sciences Dean, Prof Paul Green, said diversity is what we are and inclusion what we do.

Green argued that despite South Africa having made political strides such as developing a progressive Constitution enshrining the Bill of Rights, fewer women occupy senior positions in workplaces. “Gender diversity in the workplace is the right thing to do,” he said.

Greyson Thela, National advocacy Officer at Gender Dynamix, said one baby in every 2000 births is born intersex and defined this as a baby born with a penis and a womb, vagina but no womb, or both penis and vagina.

District Six Campus Local SRC Chairperson, Tumiso Mfisa, discussed programmes and attitudes that may help create non-discriminatory spaces on CPUT campuses.

Thobela Gceya, from the UN’s HeForShe campaign, said the campaign aims to mobilise 1 billion men to accelerate the achievement of gender equality.

Sixolile Ngcobo, Provincial Director: Commission for Gender Equality, said the CGE is concerned with lack of proper understanding of gender dynamics in the workplace, which is accompanied by the slow pace of transformation as well as lack of reasonable accommodation for people.

Administrative Officer in the Disability Unit at CPUT, Delicia De Vos, said being born with albinism brought misery to her parents and led to her father disowning her.

She took the audience through many of the form of abuses she endured in her youth and urged people for more tolerance, acceptance, understanding and patience for others.

“See (in others) that which is the same; the possibility for friendship and for love,” said De Vos.

Poet Dikeledi Rallele’s performance of her work titled Judge Me was delivered with power and emotion to huge applause by the audience.

 

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.