EE: We're committed to confronting patriarchy! – R2K

Organisation's NWG says it has also suspended an elected member as precautionary measure pending investigation

We all have a right to be: Right2Know committed to confronting patriarchy!

28 May 2018

The Right2Know Campaign notes with concern the allegations of sexual harassment in Equal Education, alongside the allegations of a cover up and a culture of intimidation that prevented women from speaking out. As R2K, we are heartened by the transparent process adopted by the current EE leadership in addressing these issues.  

There is an urgent need to combat patriarchy across all sectors of our society and especially within  activist spaces, including the Right2Know Campaign. R2K as an organisation condemns sexual harassment in all its forms, and the oppressive nature of patriarchy. We invite members of R2K to continue to come forward, and raise any concerns they may have about staff or activists who have behaved inappropriately in the organisation. We continue to act vigorously to change the culture of harassment in our homes, workplaces and organisations. Our work on combating patriarchy internally in the organisation has taken a number of forms, including workshops and resolutions from the national summit, the highest decision-making structure of the campaign.

The National Working Group of the R2K has suspended an elected member as a precautionary measure while an allegation of sexual harassment is investigated. We have done this to protect the integrity of the investigation process and everyone involved.

The 2017 R2K Summit resolved that as we strive to be a feminist organisation, we would continue to focus on creating a friendly space for women internally. This work entails engagement with both men and women to understand patriarchy and feminism as well as 'women's only' work.  We agreed to continue to work to make R2K a safe space for women and the LGBTIQA+ community through gender sensitising workshops and raising awareness about our sexual harassment policy.

We agreed to invest in leadership development for R2K women to strengthen their voices, but also resolved to do Gender Training with all the incoming NWG and Provincial leadership. We strive to have womxn represent at least 50% of leadership at all levels of decision-making, and resolved to continue to collaborate with other women's organisations and LGBTIQA+ organisations to fulfill our resolutions.

As the campaign, we note with grave concern the number of children, womxn and LGBTIQA+ who have been abused, violated or killed by their intimate partners or men they know. We cannot afford to remain silent while there’s a silent war against children, womxn and LGBTIQA+.

We call on all institutions especially our religious centers and institutions of learning to prioritise gender sensitising curriculum and workshops as the scourge is escalating at that level especially in our universities.

We also call on the justice system to desist from secondary victimising and failing people who come forward to report abuse related cases. We also call on the department of women and children to do more in raising awareness and empowering children, womxn and LGBTIQA+. We must not wait for the 16 days of activism in order to see our government’s commitment in fighting against this scourge.

We demand justice for all survivors and victims of domestic violence, sexual harassment and femicide!

#OngaziMakazi #MeToo #Womxndla #MenMustAct #Right2Life

Issued by Sinenhlanhla Manqele, R2K NWG and Feminist Team Convener, 28 May 2018