In the wake of reports of the rape of students at universities, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has called for more safety for women at institutions of higher learning, adding the culture of male domination was on the rise and that institutions did not have specific policies on the safety of students, especially the most vulnerable ones.
The CGE made the call on Tuesday when it appeared before parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education and training.
The commission briefed the higher education and training committee on gender-based violence and gender transformation at the South African institutions of higher learning.
The CGE said the implementation of the policies on gender transformation and prevention of abuse of women at institutions of higher learning in South Africa ranged from very poor to nonexistent.
Responding to the shocking state of affairs, chairperson of the committee Connie September said: “We must agree that we have failed the young women at these institutions, we have not given them the support they deserve from us and that we should be shameful about that.”
The latest CGE survey shows awareness of the existence of the policies such as sexual harassment and other very important safety policies were not part of induction or orientation programmes for new students at university campuses.
“The policies exist in the intranets only,” said the CGE.
Thanking the CGE for the engagement, September said: “This one marks the continuation of more engagements with you and other relevant stakeholders until the objectives of gender transformation at the institutions of higher learning are achieved and the culture of patriarchy is removed.”