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Rape, assault & exclusion of women continue to plague universities - report

The commission’s report on gender transformation in tertiary institutions has been tabled in Parliament and it shows how slow the pace of gender transformation is in the country’s universities.

FILE: A UCT student holds up a poster during a protest against rape and sexual abuse on campus on 11 May 2016. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The rape and assault of female students and the exclusion of women in certain academic disciplines continue to plague the country’s universities, says the Commission for Gender Equality.

The commission’s report on gender transformation in tertiary institutions has been tabled in Parliament and it shows how slow the pace of gender transformation is in the country’s universities.

The report also notes how in 2017 an intruder broke into a computer laboratory at Nelson Mandela Metro University, raped one female student and sexually assaulted another.

The commission said incidents such as this one had led former higher education minister Naledi Pandor to appoint a task team to guide policy on sexual harassment and gender-based violence at universities.

The chapter nine institution is now calling on Parliament to support its recommendations for dealing with gender-based violence and gender transformation.

Spokesperson Javu Baloyi said: “They must call up the commission to come and brief them, to understand what this report entails.”

The commission said it would continue to engage with the universities that it had made findings against through its gender transformation hearings. It said it would also engage with the work of the government task team.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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