Sexual and Reproductive Rights Programme

The Sexual and Reproductive Rights Programme seeks to support research, networking and activism which prioritizes sexual and reproductive rights. The programme also strives to strengthen young women’s leadership in sexual and reproductive rights work, to address issues of violence against women, to work with LGBTIQ writers and activists on the continent, and to develop theoretical frameworks which can drive new approaches to understanding and implementing sexual and reproductive rights contextually.

Our flagship project is the Young Women's Leadership project

Sexual & Reproductive Rights Programme: Areas of Work


Partnership Building

Public Intellectual Dialogue

Capacity Building

Programme Convenor:


Associate Prof. Jane Bennett

Jane Bennett has disciplinary backgrounds in literature, linguistics, sociology and feminist theory, and has worked at the State University of New York, Barnard College, and since 1999, within the University of Cape Town. Her research interests are in feminist theory, sexualities, pedagogies and violence and she has published many articles and book chapters in these areas. She is also interested in research which is allied to political activism, in different areas, within and beyond university spaces within the African continent. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. She works regularly with colleagues at the University of Buenos Aires, Makerere University, the University of Ghana, the University of California (Davis) and the Human Sciences Research Council. She also works with a number of NGOs across Southern and Eastern Africa. In the African Gender Institute, she is responsible for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses, postgraduate supervision, research development and networking, research and publication, and the convenorship of core programmes in the School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics.

Contact Details:
Tel: (+27) 21 650-4203

Marion Stevens (Associate at the African Gender Institute)


Marion Stevens has a background as a midwife, in medical anthropology and in public and development. She has worked in the area of sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS for some 20 years. She is currently the coordinator of WISH Associates (Women in Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health) a network of nine South African consultant activists.

In the past few years her work has involved a range of high level activities including the responsibility of developing two South African policies. She developed the Learner Pregnancy strategy for the Department of Basic Education and the Adolescent Health policy for the Department of Health. Both these processes involved the engagement and participation of a range of stakeholders. She is also currently on the National Department of Health task teams for the development of the revised contraception guidelines and the new Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights implementation Strategy framework. She also recently developed a training manual for health workers in relation to sexual orientation and gender identities. She has just completed leading an evaluation process internationally in reviewing the work of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights currently located in the Philippines’. Marion is also well networked into local South African civil society groups. Content areas:HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s health, key populations, diversity and gender, health systems and human resources. Capacity and skills: Project management, advocacy & networking, facilitation & teaching, organisational development, report writing, proposal writing & fundraising, qualitative & quantitative research, strategy, policy analysis and development, monitoring and evaluation, and business analysis.


UCT Press and the Book Lounge cordially invite you to the launch of Jacketed Women - Qualitative research methodologies on gender and sexualities in Africa, edited by Jane Bennett and Charmaine Pereira, featuring a discussion between co-editor, Jane Bennett and guest speakers Pumla Gqola and Divine Fuh.

Please RSVP to Portia Gqamane ( / 021 659 2340)

Jane Bennett has disciplinary backgrounds in literature, linguistics, sociology and feminist theory, and has worked at the State University of New York, Barnard College, and since 1999, within the University of Cape Town.

Source: Holaa Africa
Editorial from HOLAA!
Women have a lot of interesting stories. So many cool, sad, sexy, funny and strange stories. Stories that inspire and stories that make you shake your head and roll your eyes. Stories that turn you on or make you want to turn away. The lives of women are an intricate tapestry of happenings that often does not properly get seen, and sometimes gets ignored. Which is such a waste because it is such a great, random and wild menagerie of existences READ MORE

Source: The Academic Citizen -

In the final episode of The Academic Citizen for 2016, Dr Mary Hames joins us to discuss issues of gender and sexuality within spaces of higher learning. Heteronormativity and patriarchy are still dominant within South African society, which makes it important to analyse how our universities respond to questions of sexuality and the rights of queer community members. This conversation reflects on issues of acceptance and inclusion, which range from official university rules, to disciplinary procedures when discrimination has taken place, to teaching methods in the lecture hall. LISTEN TO PODCAST

April 9th 2016
Speakers: Prof Eddie Mhlanga and Jody Fredericks
Time: 12 pm – 14:00pm
Venue: Wolfson Paviliion, Medical School, UCT
April 11th 2016
Speakers: Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, MD, and Dudu Dlamini (SWEAT)
Time: 17:30pm – 19:00pm
Venue: African Gender Institute, Centre for African Studies, Oppenheimer building, Upper Campus, Level 4, AXL seminar room, P11, UCT
April 18th 2016
Speakers: Dr Leigh Davids (SWEAT and SistazHood) and Nomtika Mjwana (ACTIVATE youth activist SRJC)
Time: 17:30pm – 19:00pm
Venue: African Gender Institute, Centre for African Studies, Oppenheimer building, Upper Campus, Level 4, AXL seminar room, P11, UCT
Refreshments will be served
Please contact Hilda Ferguson for more information - / 021 6504102

Source: (15 March 2016)

Over the weekend, as the arrest of the suspected serial rapist dominated the news, we as UCT Survivors ask ‘What about all the perpetrators of sexual violence in their class rooms and residences that UCT has not offered a reward for?’ If the management of this institution are serious about tackling sexual violence on this campus, they need to be open about the perpetrators that are part of the UCT community. They need to be open about how their structures have failed survivors in the past. Last year, a review of the Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) was commissioned and UCT management has yet to make it public for comment from the whole UCT community. It details some of the failures of these structures and details management’s negligence towards these structures as well as the questionable qualifications of those appointed to head up the disciplinary procedures that are part of these structures. We as a collective are calling for the immediate release of this document. READ MORE

The African Gender Institute would like to invite you to a seminar presentation, 'Reclaiming sex and queering the word: Contemporary Black women’s poetry on sexuality' by Dr Barbara Boswell

Barbara has a PhD in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland, a Master's degree in Gender and Women's Studies from the University of the Western Cape, and an undergraduate journalism degree from Peninsula Technikon. She has worked as a Project Officer for the Young Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) Leadership Project at the African Gender Institute (University of Cape Town), a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Virginia in the US. Her research interests include youth sexualities, feminist and women's movements, and feminist approaches to black South African literature.

All are welcome and refreshments will be served 



Source: (28 January 2016)

Recording posted by the folk at The Voice of the Cape, 91.3FM, of the interview by Mishka Darries of Kopano Ratele, a professor at the University of South Africa who co-facilitates a men’s group with Shahieda Jansen in Cape Town; Jackie Geduld, a psych postgraduate student at the University of Western Cape (UWC), and Shahieda Jansen who is the manager of Student Counselling at the Centre for Student Support Services at UWC and the women who initiated and has been running men’s groups for years. LISTEN TO RECORDING

Source: Mail & Guardian 

By Zethu Matebeni

The last few months have stimulated long overdue conversations and action in higher education institutions in South Africa. Rhodes Must Fall, over and over again. The concrete structure may be gone from the steps of the UCT upper campus, but its shadow remains — blocking the same path that leads to possible liberation. It is not yet uhuru. The promise of freedom is not for tomorrow. The wait is charged with the hard work of decolonisation. Often misrecognised as the new buzz word next to transformation, its content is often not so easily embraced. READ MORE

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