HEAIDS CEO, Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia will be speaking at the conference
In June this year, HEAIDS conducted a satellite session at the SA AIDS Conference 2019, held at the Durban ICC. The session, entitled Youth, Health & Wellness: Innovation towards controlling the HIV & AIDS epidemic, addressed the need to focus on the structural drivers of the HIV epidemic as a holisitc approach in the face of the many challenges that South African youth are facing, including poverty, unemployment, under-education, unplanned pregnancies, gender-based violence, substance abuse and mental health issues. Addressing HIV in youth requires innovative interventions and some of the novel ways in which we are addressing HIV and youth access to wider health services were explored. Presenters included HEAIDS CEO, Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia; Chair of SA AIDS conference and NWU Deputy VC: Research & Innovation, Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya; SAUS President, Mr Misheck Mugabe; SANAC Co-Chairperson & LGBTQI Activist, Ms Steve Mmapaseka Letsike; Deputy Regional Director at UNFPA, Ms Beatrice Mutali; and Senior Strategic Information Adviser: UNAIDS, Dr Ali Feizzadeh. The session was attended by over 300 people as one of the most well attended satellite sessons, particularly with HIV amongst youth being one of the hot topics throughout the conference and once again showcasing HEAIDS’ novel approach to addressing health and wellness amongst South Africa’s youth.
Video: SAUS President Mr Misheck Mugabe speaking at the HEAIDS satellite session https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZNE0QnoBnw&t=19s
As you are aware, the issue of gender-based violence (GBV) has come to the forefront at our universities and colleges, with our students highlighting the need for the sector to actively address gender based and sexual violence that has long plagued our campuses and our country at large and it became evident that policy and programming was an imperative course of action.
As such, the Department of Higher Education and Training mandated HEAIDS to implement a GBV programme in the HE sector university and college campuses to mitigate the problem. The goal being to develop a comprehensive prevention programme and model that addresses sexual and gender-based violence at our institutions, with the specific emphasis on policy interventions to reduce gender-based violence, to improve victim/survivor support services and to challenge gender-based violence more broadly in society. It is against this backdrop that HEAIDS has been leading several key activities in collaboration with key role players across the country, inclusive of Government, UN based organisations, civil society, institutional and student leadership and donor partners.
In addition to developing the GBV Policy and Strategy Framework through an extensive consultative process with all universities and TVET colleges and relevant partners and stakeholders, various ministerial dialogues have been facilitated across the sector to date. These dialogues are critical in enabling the leadership to hear the voices of the students and to also understand the stark realities on the ground.
The Ministry of Higher Education, under the leadership of Deputy Minister Buti Manamela will host a series of GBV Imbizos, leading up to the launch of the GBV Policy Framework, with HEAIDS. These events will enable us to keep the spotlight on the issue and to mobilise the sector around the implementation of the Framework.
On behalf of the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, HEAIDS takes pleasure in inviting you to its second Gender Based Violence Provincial Imbizo. The details are as follows:
DATE: 7th August 2018
TIME: 12h00 to 15h00
VENUE: Tshwane North College, Mamelodi Campus, Gauteng, 19403 Serapeng Road,
Mamelodi East, Pretoria.
In the wake of trending hashtags #MenAreTrash and the #RUReference, Rhodes Music Radio as part of their ‘Future Beats’’ Program embarked on a campaign to highlight the underlying issues these hashtags brought to their campus community. In order to tackle patriarchal norms and values the campus radio station hosted “Men’s Week”’. “The campaign aspired to push men to give their privilege up in the name of equality” said Chelsea Ogilvy, the station Programming Manager. The idea of the campaign is a result of a Future Beats National Workshop Programme that challenged all participating Future Beats radio stations to engage listeners on toxic masculinity and patriarchy as one of the enablers of gender based violence in a Gender Based Violence sensitisation workshop.
The workshop held on September 8, 2017 in Pretoria and facilitated by Thulani Greyville Grey a Mental Health Specialist and HIV expert is part of the Future Beats capacity development component that allows the stations to network, share best practices discuss lessons learned, and receive information on current issues in the student community.
The Men’s week campaign conducted by Rhodes Music Radio included the station hosting a talk show facilitating conversation that encouraged men talking honestly and openly about their views on patriarchy. The week ended with a walk creatively called the “lipstick pain walk”. The station invited everyone to participate in a social experiment that was aimed at helping men understand the female experience for a brief moment. Participants were required to wear lipstick and had people planted along the route catcalling at those walking down the designated road. The end of the campaign saw men voluntarily pledging to give up their privilege by wiping off their lipstick from the walk as an embodiment of their change.
HEAIDS is hosting a Gender Based Violence at the University of Venda, Thohoyandou, Limpopo.
South Africa is known for its high rates of violence, which according to some analyses, are linked to an acceptance of violence as a way to resolve interpersonal conflict, based both from the historical imposition of apartheid and resistance to it. South Africa also has extremely high rates of gender-based violence and the highest rate of reported rape cases in the world, hence the labelling as ‘rape capital’ of the world’1. The analysis of gender-based violence recognises that violence directed against a person on the basis of his or her gendered identity is not directed at women and girls only. Some of the same mechanisms that entrap girls and women in subordinate roles, keep men and boys entrapped in masculinist identifications that are being played out in abusive ways. Victims of sexual assault are more likely to suffer academically and from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, abuse alcohol and drugs, and to contemplate suicide. Research in South Africa and internationally found that sexual harassment and SGBV have health, psychological and academic impacts on students, but it is female students who are disproportionately affected2. At present the true extent of sexual violence in South Africa is unknown. Stats SA found that one in two rape survivors reported being raped to the police3, while the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that one in nine women reported being raped4. Both studies clearly find rape to be under-reported although their findings differ as to the extent of such under-reporting. In 2012 55,201 rape cases were reported to the police, but this figure should also be viewed in terms of the gross under-reporting of rape in South Africa. Gender-based violence has health, psycho-social and legal consequences on women, men and children.The victim and her/his family may experience physical, emotional, mental and social affects.
As part of HEAIDS mitigation of SGBV in post school sector, SGBV programme elements will be integrated in existing HEAIDS programmes: 1) HEAIDS First Things First programme, 2) HEAIDS-Men’s health empowerment programme, 3) HEAIDS-Curriculum development and integration, 4) HEAIDS-MSM and LGBTI, 5) HEAIDS-Women’s health empowerment programme,6) HEAIDS-Alcohol and drugabuse prevention programme, 7) HEAIDS-FUTURE BEATS-Campus Radio Project, 8) HEAIDS Peer education programme.
These dialogues are part of the process HEAIDS is embarking on by consulting students on the ground.
We are pleased to inform you that the HEAIDS conference will be at the International Convention Centre in Durban. That will allow us to host a pre-conference to the South African AIDS Conference 2017 and will accommodate a maximum of 1,000 delegates.
Furthermore a website has been established to manage an efficient flow of information and enable us to manage registrations and abstract submissions professionally. Please follow this link to access our website: http://www.heaidsconference.co.za/ and register or submit an abstract (submissions for abstracts close on 10 March 2017).
Please note that we are also in the process of confirming scholarships for students and youth to attend the conference and receive free accommodation and food. Therefore we would like to ask all of you to please support us in mobilising students and staff from your institutions to join this conference and use the unique opportunity to come together as a sector.
We encourage you, the youth to join us in sharing innovative practices towards health education, health promotion, knowledge generation and capacity building amongst our youth within the post-school sector for this year’s HEAIDS Conference.
In attendance of the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, HEAIDS will be implementing its First Things First HIV/TB/STI Health & Wellness programme at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth.
In attendance of the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, HEAIDS will be implementing its First Things First HIV/TB/STI Health & Wellness programme at Boland TVET College in the Western Cape.