The NWU Mahikeng Library participated in Gender Awareness Week with the aim of recognizing women who have played a role in liberating themselves and those around them. An on-screen display was used to identify women from various spheres such as Education, Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Literature and Royalty. This was accompanied by a book display to showcase female authors and other prominent figures. The display board was populated with female inventors, past and present.
An interactive activity for the patrons was developed to ensure engagement with the display. The feedback was positive as they identified prominent women of their choice. The display will continue until the end of women’s month (August).
‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’ – You strike a woman, you strike a rock
Potchefstroom library participated in Gender Awareness Week and involved the users in some activities. A book exhibition on gender related resources were on display for the week as well as an on-screen display of the Gender Awareness Week program and posters.
On Friday 3 August, students had fun completing a word puzzle of inspirational South African women and popped a balloon for a surprise Coffee in a Cone voucher at Ferdi’s.
During Gender Awareness Week the Vanderbijlpark Library had an exhibition depicting the theme of the week. Students were asked to take pictures or selfies with books of their idols and share it with library staff.
The Library also hosted a discussion organized by Nthabiseng Maseko (LIS). Both male and female students had the opportunity to engage with each other on the topic of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
The programme started with a short video explaining what intimate partner violence is. The facilitator, Ms Retlotlilwe Pooe (Student Counseling and Development), explained how intimate partner violence unfolds to a point where it escalates to assault and even murder. When asking the students what they thought the causes of IPV were, some mentioned societal beliefs and how people were raised. Others blamed feminism and said that it causes women to compete with men, but then they still expect of men to provide for them when they are in a relationship.
Students were then asked to come up with solutions. They agreed that education and disclosure is very important. People need to become aware of such destructive behavior. One female student said: “We need to unlearn certain behaviours in order to respect our significant other and to value each other’s lives.”
Students then decided to start a hashtag #itaffectsusall on Facebook. Some felt it was not enough – they decided to form groups in their respective residences where they will have similar discussions on a monthly basis. At the end of the programme, members were elected to serve on a committee to take the message further.