The Centre for Women and Gender Studies was established in October 2019, to contribute towards attitudinal and social transformation through the promotion of women empowerment and gender equality and equity. The Centre is housed under the Engagement and Transformation Portfolio, in Felsted Building, First Floor, in the Bird Street Campus. This Centre is squarely aligned with the strategic priorities, intellectual direction and transformative imperatives of Nelson Mandela University.Through rigorous and critical analysis of the role of economic, religious, and political institutions in legitimizing and institutionalizing gender, sex and sexuality disparities the Centre seeks to mainstream gender across the sector through teaching and learning, research, and collaborative engagements. This mission of the Centre is informed by the vision of the university to be a “dynamic, African University recognised for the cutting-edge knowledge towards a sustainable future”. This centre is designed to approach gender mainstreaming through African intellectual heritage rooted in the Eastern Cape regional histories.

The Centre is a host to a prestigious NMU-DST-NRF SARChI Chair in African Feminist Imaginations, headed by Prof Pumla Dine Gqola, to study the Creative Arts (literature, the fine and visual arts, film, theatre, dance, music), popular culture and other expressions of African feminist energies, while training the post graduate students for future African societies.

 Objectives and Mandate of the Centre for Women and Gender Studies

The mandate of the Centre for Women and Gender Studies is to mainstream gender in teaching, promote scholarly engagements that can transform attitude towards gender transformation. This mandate is matched by these following goals:

  • To facilitate the integration of socially relevant interdisciplinary women and gender studies in teaching, curriculum design, research and engagement activities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • To critically analyse and interpret gender differentiation and inequality from a complexity contextual perspective and their intersections with ethnicity, culture, religion, class, sexual orientation, age, and other critical dimensions.
  • To build Institutional, regional, and national capacity and support women empowerment and gender advocacy through teaching, training, consultancy, and networking.  
  • To foster cooperation, collaboration, and networking within the University as well as with Government and non-Government organisations to influence policy and support to advance the constitutional values of human dignity, equality, freedom and social justice.