The Wits Gender Equity Office is collecting postcards from students calling for an end to gender-based violence. 

The Wits Gender Equity Office (GEO), with other universities, is collecting postcards hitting out at gender-based violence (GBV) throughout women’s month. 

Wits GEO joins UFS, UCT and Stellenbosch in the ‘Post Office to Parliament Initiative’, which was initiated by the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation. The anti-GBV campaign engages higher- learning institutions by providing postcards, written in the 11 official languages of the country, to the student population. The students can write on the postcards about their experiences or opinions on GBV.  

The campaign includes a march to Claremont Post Office, where the letters will be handed over and then submitted to Parliament in Cape Town on August 28, 2021. 

Zoe Human, PR and marketing officer for the Post Office to Parliament task team, told Wits Vuvuzela the writing of letters to Parliament served as another form of protest, considering the restrictions placed on gatherings during the covid-19 pandemic. “The next best possible thing would be letters,’’ said Human. 

Human said institutions of higher learning were invited to join the movement because in recent years a number of victims have been university students. “When we think of gender-based violence, there are some key figures such as Uyinene and Hannah Cornelius.’’  

The education campaign officer for Wits GEO, Thenjiwe Mswane, said the office will facilitate students writing letters through various events happening during this month. “We will be collecting [the cards] at Wits at some of the events we will be having,’’ Mswane said. 

Letters can be written or submitted digitally on the Uyinene Mrwetyana website. “One of our main intentions in women’s month was to draw a parallel with the march to Parliament that was done by Helen Joseph and Lilian Ngoyi in 1956,’’ Human said. 

Wits GEO was motivated to join the initiative because of the recent loss of first-year student Asithandile Kwasa Zozo, who was murdered in August 2020. “We as Wits have lost a student whom we will also be remembering this month,’’ said Mswane. 

Wits GEO is currently painting a mural to commemorate Asithandile Zozo.

FEATURED IMAGE: A picture of the postcards distributed by the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation. Photo: Provided