Home > Projects > Gender-Based Violence

Mapping Gender-Based Violence Interventions at UCT

The HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit (HAICU) coordinates, collaborates on and implements curriculum, co-curricula and policy interventions around the intersection between HIV, race, class, gender, violence, sexual diversity and intergenerational trauma.

Peer Education Workshops

HAICU staff have been involved in running and evaluating theory-based participatory critical consciousness Freirean peer education workshops in student residences for 21 years by training volunteer peer educators called Agents of Change Education (ACEs). The ACEs conduct workshops around the intersection of issues of HIV, race, class gender, sexual orientation and gender-based violence. In this work HAICU has partnered with several student organisations such as the SRC on an annual basis. The work of the HAICU peer educators was evaluated by an external evaluation organisation paid for by European Union funding in 2010 and the work was found to be successful.

HAICU's annual reports demonstrate the delivery of gender-based violence and HIV workshops for the following groups, where possible:

a) 60 Workshops during student Orientation Week every year for about 4 000 first year students (annual evaluation reports available);
b) 6 - 10 Workshops in student residences on gender and HIV per term (dates; registers and evaluation reports available);
c) Annual workshop on gender norms and HIV for Faculty-based Orientation Leaders;
d) Annual workshop with the SRC (when given space in their training period);
e) For the residence leaders and sub-warden training, the workshop has been collaborative and facilitated by HAICU, DISCHO, Disability Service and DSA.

Following line management supervision and executive sign-off:

HAICU raised funds in 2013 through a grant to bring together members of UCT involved in teaching, research, student leadership, student services, staff management and social responsiveness at UCT, and other HEIs to share best practice around Higher Education responding to masculinity.


HAICU then raised funds for another grant to implement a revised bystander model for HIV and GBV education workshops in student residences and for UCT student leaders.

HAICU also workshopped student leaders at the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) False Bay College.

HAICU collaborated with UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art‘s Fabian Saptouw and Engineering’s Assoc. Prof. Jane English to teach compulsory examinable courses about HIV and GBV to first years. These did not cost the students extra. An evaluation of the outcomes of this work has been completed. The fund raised grant also paid for the art students to exhibit their installations and create a social awareness event for all students.


HAICU then raised funds through a third separate grant (end 2013) to have an external company evaluate the outcomes of the intervention (adapted from the Medical Research Council’s Stepping Stones and Sonke Gender Justice’s One Man Can programmes) in mixed sex groups. Our ultimate goal is to measure whether we can develop a 90 minutes co-curricula peer education workshop that we can upscale to help to foster contexts at UCT that give rise to people speaking out about healthier gender norms, violence and HIV prevention among mixed groups of UCT students. At the same time Faculty of Health Science’s Prof. Sinegugu Duma and her PhD student, Tania De Villiers, are collaborating with SAVI and the MRC to research outcomes of an intervention among single sex groups. This seminar is to feed the findings of both research endeavours back into the HAICU ACEs peer education programme.


Participants at the HAICU Masculinity seminar included: Prof. Jane Bennet (AGI); Prof. Rachel Jewkes (MRC); Prof. Sinegugu Duma (FHS - Nursing); Ms. Tania De Villiers (FHS); students of Prof. Floretta Boonzaier (Psychology); Prof. Chris Colvin (FHS- Public Health); Erin Stern (FHS - Womens’ Health Research Unit); Dr. Rob Morell; Ms. Khairoonisa Foflonker (ADAPT); Mr Fabian Saptouw; Prof. Dean Peacock and Tim Shand (Sonke Gender Justice); Ms Joy Knighton-Fitt (Student Wellness); visiting staff from Wits Safe Zones in the Transformation Office; the University of Limpopo HIV Unit; Department of Higher Education and Training and Department of Health members; Pierre Brouard (Centre for the Study of AIDS and Sexuality - University of Pretoria); Dr. Jim Lees (UWC); Rashiedah Khan and Francois Botha (DISCHO); Glenda Wildschut and Cheryl Valley (Transformation Services); Nafisa Mayat and Reinette Popplestone (Disability Service); students of Dr. Marion Walton (Film and Media studies); DVC Transformation Prof. Crain Soudien; students from the SRC, ACEs and SHAWCO; HAICU staff members.

The following workshops at the following student residences/societies were completed:

2014/08/25  Observatory Square
2014/09/02 Forest Hill
2014/09/23 Varietas
2014/09/20 Rochester
2014/09/24 Woolsack
2014/10/20 Observatory Square
2015/03/25 Clarinus / Clarendon
2015/03/19 Science Students Group
2015/03/21 Lesotho Society 
2015/03/23 Zimbabwean Society
2015/03/24 Nigerian Society
2015/03/29 Kolbe Society
2015/03/30 Graca Machel
2015/03/31 Leo Marquard
2015/04/06 Forest Hill
2015/04/07 Bio Chem. Students Group


UCT GBV Research and Teaching

Dr. Zethu Matebeni
Assoc. Prof. Jane Bennett
Dr. Barbara Boswell
Assoc. Prof. Floretta Boonzaier

Faculty of Health Science
Assoc. Prof. Sinegugu Duma

Psychiatry and Mental Health Dr Adele Marais Family Medicine, BaDr course(3rd year medical students): PPH3000H: Lecture on Intimate Partner Violence. The lecture addresses the following: prevalence, definition, impact on physical and mental health, need for screening in primary healthcare settings, role of GP, barriers to screening, intervention and management.

OT 2nd years: PRY2002W: Lecture on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The lecture addresses the following: prevalence, definition, impact on physical and mental health, need for screening in primary healthcare settings, role of OT, barriers to screening, intervention and management.

4th year UG medical students: PRY4000W: Lecture on IPV. The lecture addresses the following: prevalence, definition, impact on physical and mental health, need for screening in primary healthcare settings, role of GP, barriers to screening, intervention and management.
Family Medicine interns: Lecture on IVP. The lecture covers the following topics: prevalence, definition, impact on physical and mental health, intersection between IPV and HIV, need for screening in primary healthcare settings, role of the GP, barriers to screening, intervention and management.
Human Biology Charles Slater Integrated Health Systems, 2nd year MBChB HUB2017H. Lecture on Intimate Partner Violence. Complements a problem based learned case in which such violence is considered.  
Nursing and Midwifery Pat Meyers Not Applicable AHS4122W - Professional development studies, human rights with repeat to violence dignity etc. MG012 programmes Advanced midwifery child nursing critical care of the child.

Research Units

South African Violence Initiative (SAVI)
AIDS and Society Research Unit
Gender Health and Justice Unit



Counselling for UCT Students

Student Wellness Service. For more information please call (021) 650 1020

Counselling for Staff

Ashley Taylor - HR: Organisational Health. For more information please call (021) 650 2154


Discrimination and Harassment Cases

The UCT Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO). For more information please call (021) 650 3530. 


Social Responsiveness Initiative

Read more