Change the world


Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo. These words, from a famous South African struggle song, have come to symbolise women’s resistance to the various forms of oppression meted against them.
As the world commemorates International Women’s Day today (8 March), under the United Nations campaign theme “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights”, it is widely acknowledged that while there have been strides made towards achieving these rights, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls worldwide.
The year 2020 is a pivotal one for advancing gender equality worldwide, as the global community takes stock of progress made for women’s rights since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This declaration was adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, and is recognized as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls across the world.
In addition to the year 2020 being the 25th anniversary of this declaration, it also marks several other galvanizing moments in the gender equality movement: a five-year milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; and the 10th anniversary of UN Women’s establishment.
According to the UN, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture, and a lot of work still needs to be done to dismantle these.
Nelson Mandela University, in in its quest for equality and stance on the indivisibility of human rights, remains resolute in its commitment to advancing gender equality. The work of the Centre for Women and Gender Studies, among others in the University space, is testament to this commitment.
We wish all women in the University a happy International Women’s Day. 
Inde le ndlela siyihambayo, kodwa sithi phambili ngokulwela amalungelo abo basethyini, phambili!
Prof Sibongile Muthwa