The Centre for Women and Gender Studies at Nelson Mandela University is the first of its kind to be launched in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Centre is the culmination of several years of discussions among students (Activist Connexions)  and staff ( Gender Forum 2014, facilitated by CANRAD) who were interested and concerned about the lack of women and gender-related matters being mainstreamed within the Nelson Mandela University.

The Centre hopes to provide an inclusive gender agenda that is informed by the broader transformation project of the university in creating a more humane and equal society. Drawing from the current University structures, the centre will facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and partnerships to:

  • Mainstream gender agenda in teaching and learning;
  • Develop research and scholarship agenda informed by the centre's key principles.
  • Provide a space for collaborative advocacy programmes in dealing with Gender Based Violence on campus and beyond,
  • Influence policy formulation in the region and across the Higher Education Sector regarding gender and dignity of women and other sexual minorities.

This centre will formulate partnerships with other Eastern Cape Higher Education Institutions; Port Elizabeth Community Groupings, different Nelson Mandela University Student Formations, University support Services and academic departments; Non Governmental Organisation to establish a 'gender agenda' that is intersectional but rooted within the African intellectual histories of the region.

The centre opened its doors when the nation needs answers around the rampant increase in Gender Based Violence, widening socio-economic inequalities and backlash against political minorities at large. We hope that this space will contribute towards developing an innovative, critical and healing 'gender agenda' for the betterment of the broader society. 

Gender Transformation Working Group and the Organising Team