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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

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Women’s Memorial Garden exudes the essence of women
2013-08-05

 

Photo: Stephen Collett
20 August 2013

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Female staff of the university gathered on Thursday 8 August 2013 in a pre-celebration of Women’s Day. An atmosphere of indulgence enveloped the Women’s Memorial Garden with smartly-dressed waiters serving high tea to the group while a string trio provided soothing melodies.

Beneath this luxurious backdrop, though, ran a deep and sincere current of kinship. The three speakers – women from diverse age groups and backgrounds – all had one clear message: love. Being a woman is being love – in all its various forms: from being tender to standing up for what is right.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, reflected on the 20 000-strong women’s march in 1956 to the Union Buildings. Using this example, he expressed his wish for the women of South Africa to unite once again across race and creed to the benefit of our country.

Not only did a sense of courage and strength permeate the celebration, but the group dispersed with the beat in their hearts: you strike a woman, you strike a rock.

The university has several more celebratory events planned for Women’s Month. The program line-up is as follows:

16 August 2013 – for women students,
23 August 2013 – for women secretaries and admin staff,
30 August 2013 – for women in cleaning services,
date in August to be confirmed – for women in academics.

 

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