Equality

Sexual orientation discrimination is never just that

In the late nineties, Prof Francisco Valdes from the California Western School of Law, set out to address what he saw as a dangerous loophole in American anti-discrimination law. The loophole existed in the context of sexual discrimination laws. At the time, discrimination on the grounds of sex and gender was outlawed, but, as a…

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Better organisation would make Fees Must Fall more successful

There are so many phenomenal stories about our political freedom that are less told. The story of Ruth First is such a story. First was a white women who forwent personal privilege and devoted her life to the anti-apartheid struggle. She was eventually killed by the apartheid government in 1982. Yesterday, I attended an event…

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Personality differences across the world

When you travel a lot, as we do, to different parts of the world, encountering people from widely divergent cultures, one might think that you would also come across personalities widely different from those you find in your own culture. However, experience has taught me that this is not the case, and that the divergences…

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UCT Black academic caucus statement

21 October 2016 The UCT Black Academic Caucus believes that the current situation at our universities necessitates a national multi-stakeholder solution. The increasing securitisation and violence on our campuses has become untenable and cannot be resolved through negotiations between the executives and student groupings within individual institutions. The student movement that began at the University…

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Selfless leadership could fix South Africa

The #FeesMustFall movement is a dress rehearsal for the revolution South Africa will face unless we fix our socio-economic conundrum of inequality, poverty and unemployment. This will require leadership! It will require “bridge builders” who are not beholden to vested interests and can lead for the common good. It will require technical skill to empower…

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On black excellence: Charlotte Mannya Maxeke

I’ve been reading Zubeida Jaffer’s biography of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, Beauty of the Heart. I was very excited at the prospect of finally having a book available about a woman who is mostly known through the hospital that is named after her in Johannesburg. Beyond the hospital naming, I doubt she is a household name….

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Our fragile economy demands leadership with strategic foresight

Economic prosperity for any nation is not an outcome achieved on the basis of one policy focus and strategy. It is a result of a carefully chosen and managed set of development drivers and priorities in a complex system with a causal network of linkages that must work together to deliver the economic growth and…

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The 5 As: A checklist to step up for mental health

By Suntosh R Pillay It’s no secret that mental health has always been the Cinderella of the health system: locked up in a dark basement hoping never to be found. Or, when mental health does get a few good moments in the limelight, like Cinderella’s carriage it turns into a pumpkin at midnight and becomes…

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Violence will not do it

Almost three weeks ago, Americans commemorated the fifteenth anniversary of the event that has had a decisive impact on global politics ever since: 9/11. Three years later, in 2004, Judith Butler published a book entitled Precarious life: the powers of mourning and violence. I didn’t read this book at the time of its publication. The…

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Rape: When the personal becomes political

By Rebecca Helman Rape is both personal and political. It is a deeply personal violation committed by one person against another. But it is also a symptom of a social context in which inequality, disempowerment and violence continue to shape the daily experiences of millions. Within this context it becomes almost impossible to separate the…

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