Young Women’s Leadership Project’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations

16 Nov 2020 - 13:30
YWLP 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations

From 16-20 November 2020, the AGI hosted the Young Women’s Leadership Project’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations. For the past 10 years, the project has focused on strengthening the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) leadership of young women at seven different SADC universities: the University of Zimbabwe, the University of Botswana, Wits University, the University of Namibia, Eduardo Mondlane University, the University of Kwa-Zulu/Natal, and the University of Cape Town.

The virtual celebrations included webinars on Gender Based Violence and COVID-19 in Southern Africa and Sexual Harassment in Higher Educations. Selected students from the YWLP campuses led the webinars as they shared their expertise on these SRH matters. We also launched the Young Women’s Leadership Project Book which is a beautiful compilation that captures the passion and dedication of the Project and the bodies and beings that lived in the Project. Links are available to the webinars and book launch below.


YWLP 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations’  Webinars


Dissecting Intersections between COVID-19 & Gender-Based Violence in Southern Africa. 

Throughout the decade, each Young Women’s Leadership Team has researched the conditions that enable SRHR violations and Gender-Based Violence to occur. Their activism has informed and uplifted members of their communities. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has globally rolled back efforts towards the reduction of Gender-Based Violence as evidence shows that in any type of emergency, the risk for emotional, sexual, financial, and physical harm against women and gender minorities greatly increases.

In this discussion, the Young Women Leaders unpack the relationship between COVID-19 and GBV in the region while also assessing if COVID-19 measures adequately take into account the realities and complexities of our lives.


Sexual Harassment: Relationship dynamics between teachers and students at universities

The Young Women Leaders acknowledge that whilst the academic space exists for open and cross-cutting debates, it may contribute to strengthening the standards that support gender and sex polarities. These polarities facilitate sexual harassment in higher education. Drawing on their research and advocacy over the past decade, the Young Women Leaders unpack the social dynamics, hierarchical relationships, and institutional practices that enable sexual harassment in higher education institutions in Southern Africa.  


Virtual Launch: The Young Women's Leadership Project Book

The Young Women’s Leadership Project book is a celebration of these ten years. It is a beautiful compilation that captures the passion and dedication of the Project and the bodies’ and beings that lived the Project. YWLP UKZN worked to solicit and compile the stories and shape a coherent structure in text and image, so that the last ten years can be read as a grand narrative of YWLP. The young wom?n of this project, are the primary authors as they speak for themselves and tell their stories. The project regional coordinators offered support where needed. The virtual book launch allows the editors, Team UKZN, to share the process and motivation for the book they shaped and structured. 

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