Equality

Dear people with stupid gay questions

Over the holiest weekends of the year (holy for the four days of rest) I encountered questions that left me tired. From the age of about five or six I have been subject to such questions. Sometimes, they came from friends, sometimes from adults and sometimes these questions were not questions, they were rhetorical accusations…

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Terrorism or mental illness? Why race matters

When co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the Germanwings plane, killing 149 people, “mental illness” was deployed as an explanation. If he wore a turban and had a beard, and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the media labelling him a terrorist. Where would you put your money? Be honest. Have…

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Dying for a transplant

By Patricia Erasmus It is a lawyer’s worst nightmare — having to watch your client die. But this was the reality for our staff when an Ethiopian man was brought to us in the final stages of double renal failure. As he lay in the parking lot of our offices, disorientated, weak and struggling to…

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Beyond 2015: Setting an inclusive and pro-LGBTIQA development agenda

I recently read an interesting article titled “Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up” by Hannah Stoddart. Stoddart, concerned with the very high rise in state-sanctioned homophobia in Africa, shows how homosexuality in some African countries is often accompanied by a life sentence or up to 20…

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Education, class differences and equality: Bourdieu and Rancière

Does the fact that children go to different schools, and that some go to college, while others attend university, have anything to do with the ostensibly irremediable class structure of societies? One’s intuitive response is likely to be in the affirmative, and it has been “scientifically” confirmed by none other than the famous French sociologist…

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The delusion at the heart of the sustainable development goals

This is a big year for the development industry. In September, the world’s heads of state will gather in New York City to decide on the new sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will replace the millennium development goals as they expire. This process might sound mundane and wonky to people who don’t follow the development…

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Nice to meet you, I’m on my period

There are many things that will make you stop and rethink who you follow on Twitter. Ignorance, bigotry, pictures of food for no particular reason, retweets of cats wearing hats or Vines of horses dancing to Kiswahili Christian music. Another thing is a soiled sanitary pad. One recently popped up on my timeline and my…

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Rhodes: Views from a black associate professor at UCT

By Caroline Ncube Amid the calls for radical transformation at the University of Cape Town (UCT), there are many voices seeking to be heard. That must be heard. I am compelled to speak too. I am a black African, non-South African, female associate professor at UCT. As a foreign national I make no bones about…

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Give Rhodes to the artists

By Jordan Griffiths When I first heard of the #RhodesMustFall movement my response was simple, the statue must come down. For me it wasn’t even a question. I was privileged enough to have spent two years on the student council at the University of Pretoria (UP). I saw how aggressively transformation was fought at the…

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Breaking out into the African institution: Rhodes University

By Nedine Moonsamy As a young postgraduate student I opted to study in India despite Darwinian warnings about the culture and academic institutions. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and rigour of Indian intellectual pursuits and soon became enamoured by the idiosyncrasies of their postcolonial academic culture. Unlike South Africa, Indian…

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