18 April 2018
The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) applauds Nelson Mandela University (NMU) for their progressive decision of putting women in the high strategic decision making positions of the institution. The university has three women in its top leadership as Chairperson of the Council, Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor respectively.
These capable qualified women have earned their stripes and also contributed enormously in the development South Africa and her people. Former South Africa's Ambassador to Switzerland Nozipho January- Bardill is the Chairperson of Council of the university. She served on the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance. She also served as South Africa's Ambassador to Switzerland. She is a former Deputy Director General in the Department of Foreign Affairs and has vast experience in Corporate sector on Corporate Communications, Stakeholder Relations, High Level Government Relations and Sustainability Management.
Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi- the Chancellor of the university is a trained soldier of Umkhonto Wesizwe- the military wing of our beloved African National Congress. A very passionate and committed cadre on issues of gender equality.
She served the post apartheid government with distinction as Minister for Public Service and Administration (1999 to 2008) and as Minister for Welfare and Population Development (1996-1999). She served as a Special Envoy on Gender of the African Development Bank. She also occupied the position of the Director of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Democratic Governance Group, overseeing the organization's related strategic and policy work in 197 countries and territories around the globe. She also served as a board member of the UN Institute for Training and Research.
Vice-Chancellor of the university Professor Muthwa served as Director General of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government between 2004 and 2010. Between 2010 and 2017 she was the Deputy
Vice- Chancellor for Institutional Support, at Nelson Mandela University. In 2014 she was appointed as a Commissioner of the Financial and Fiscal Commission, and in July 2017 she was appointed as its Deputy Chairperson.
The ANCWL demands that the appointed leadership of NMU must prioritize the safety and security of female students at the university. Gender based violences has been a problem within the education sector in the country and there are some reported cases at NMU. The ANCWL leadership collective, members and supporters of the organization will continue working with the leadership of various institutions to fight all forms of gender based violences and oppression. Society in general must also actively play part in inculcating the culture of respect to gender diversity in all sectors of the society including higher education sector.
Appointment of women into leadership roles is not an act of charity. Women are capable and have capacity to lead in any sector at any level. The ANCWL congratulates NMU on its progressive decision of having women at the top leadership of the institution and calls for other institutions to emulate the decision of NMU. Other sectors (private and public) must also ensure adequate representative women in all levels of their structures.
Redressing the legacy of partriarchy and male chauvinism requires decisive unapologetic radical actions.
Well done NMU!!
ANCWL Secretary General
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