Sexual & Reproductive Rights Programme: Public Intellectual Dialogues

African Feminists: Talking the Walk events - 2015

National Women's Day event - ADMISSION RESERVED, a programme hosted by the Young Women's Leadership Project (Moday 10 August 2015/ Centre for African Studies Gallery)

On Moday 10 August 2015, the Young Women's Leadership Project at the AGI celebrated National Women's Day. The day was marked by a number of events running under the theme ADMISSION RESERVED:

Poetry by award-winning poets, Diana Ferrus and Koleka Putuma

Student Panel: The admissibility of women's bodies and politics

Play: Admission Reserved: Fresh from Grahamstown, "Admission Reserved" is an ensemble play about black women's experience of life, love and sexuality directed by Ayabonga Piyasa and produced by Mary Hames. "Admission Reserved" addresses the ownership women have of political, cultural, economic and intimate spaces and takes a look at what it means to be a black woman and feminist.

African Feminists: Talking the Walk events - 2013

International Women’s Day event - Celebrating Feminist Africa 17: Researching Sexuality with Young Women: Southern Africa, Edited by Jane Bennett & Hope Chigudu -  (Friday 8 March 2013/ All Africa House) [IMAGES][FLYER]

On Friday 8 March 2013, the African Gender Institute (AGI) celebrated International Women’s Day by launching Feminist Africa 17 (Researching Sexuality with Young Women: Southern Africa), edited by Jane Bennett and Hope Chigudu. This event was attended by some of the contributing authors of this particular journal as well as UCT students and staff.

Feminist Africa (FA) is a publication of the African Gender Institute. FA is a continental gender studies journal produced by the community of feminist scholars. It provides a platform for intellectual and activist research, dialogue and strategy. Feminist Africa attends to the complex and diverse dynamics of creativity and resistance that have emerged in postcolonial Africa, and the manner in which these are shaped by the shifting global geopolitical configurations of power. For more information on Feminist Africa, please visit For enquiries, please e-mail us at

Celebrating the Gender Equity Unit, University of the Western Cape: 20 years of activism (12 March 2013/ All Africa House Common Room - Middle Campus, UCT) [IMAGES][FLYER]

The African Gender Institute together with the Gender Equity Unit (GEU) at the University of the Western Cape hosted a celebration of the activist work that has taken place at the GEU over the last 20 years. At the event, there were performances of scenarios from the popular production, “Reclaiming the P… word.”

“Reclaiming the P…word” is a play produced by the Gender Equity Unit (UWC). It focuses on black women's experiences of sexuality, pregnancy, health, pleasure and pain. The play has travelled widely to different places including the Grahamstown Festival and Johannesburg. The play has also received many accolades. 

Talk by Associate Professor Pumla Gqola at UCT/ "2013 is a bad year for gender struggle: GBV, South Africa and feministing differently" (29 April 2013/ All Africa House- UCT) [IMAGES][FLYER]

On Monday 29 April 2013, the African Gender Institute, the Gender Equity Unit & the Women and Gender Studies Department at the University of the Western Cape hosted a seminar at which Associate Professor Pumla Gqola was the speaker. The title of the seminar was: “2013 is a bad year for gender struggle’: GBV, South Africa and feministing differently”.

Associate Professor Pumla Gqola is acclaimed as one of South Africa’s most influential public intellectuals and feminist academics. She is known for her frank and finely analytic insights into issues of slavery, feminism, patriarchy and public culture in South Africa. Associate Professor Gqola is the author of What is Slavery to Me? Postcolonial /slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa, the first full-length study of slave memory in the South African context. Her work explores the relevance and effects of slave memory for contemporary negotiations of South African gendered as well as racial identities.  Associate Professor Gqola has published extensively on topics such as slave memory in the African world, Black Consciousness literature, womanism and feminist literary studies, post-colonialism, post-apartheid public culture, and African feminist sexualities. Associate Professor Gqola is also a self-proclaimed writer, quirkophile, feminist, pan-afrikanist, postcolonial literature professor and can be followed at @feminist_rogue and at her blog

Launch of PublicationMapping Sexualities With Jacketed WomenEdited by Jane Bennett & Charmaine Pereira (30 April 2013/ Book Lounge, Cape Town) [IMAGES

In 2004, the African Gender Institute ran a continental research project, Mapping Sexualities, among the objectives of which was the development of a research methodology suited to carrying out in-depth case studies of the dynamics of gender and contemporary sexual cultures in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.

This book is the result of this research. The chapters cover broad-ranging issues and include questions about what it means to research topics that are unpopular or fraught with the sense of the taboo that underpins much work in sexualities and gender studies. Overall, the diverse pieces within the collection offer the opportunity to see qualitative research not as the ‘poor cousin’ of quantitative studies but as a zone which raises intellectual and political challenges.

Jane Bennett is an Associate Professor, Director of the School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics, and Director of the African Gender Institute based at the University of Cape Town, an eminent research organisation in this field. She has published many articles and book chapters in the areas of feminist theory, sexualities, gender and violence.

Charmaine Pereira is the co-ordinator of the Initiative for Women’s Studies in Nigeria, a leading research organisation. She is the author of multiple books on gender and higher education and writes on questions of citizenship, sexuality and rights.

Photography Exhibition & Panel "..when you feeling like a lady.." (14 May 2013/ Centre for African Studies Gallery- UCT) [IMAGES]

This event was co-hosted by the AGI, Robert Hamblin, Sistaz' Hood and the Sex Worker Education Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) on the 14th of May 2013 in the Centre for African Studies Gallery. It was a photography exhibition and panel discussion. The panel discussion was titled: "The outsider's gaze. Negotiating the voyeurism of photography with marginalised communities".

Global Female Condom Day Event (16 September 2013/ Centre for African Studies Gallery- UCT) - A collaboration between WISH Associates, AGI, the HIV/AIDS and Inclusivity Co-ordination Unit (HAICU) - UCT, and PATH [IMAGES][FLYER]

WISH Associates, the African Gender Institute, the HIV/AIDS Inclusivity Co-ordination Unit (HAICU) - UCT, and PATH hosted the Global Female Condom Day Awards Film Screening & a lucky draw for a La Senza lingerie voucher on Monday 16 September 2013 at the CAS Gallery. The event included a video screening of the “Female Condoms Are_______” film competition finalists and the South African entry. It was chaired by Female Condom Ambassador, Kgomotso Matsunyane. The question and answer session was chaired by the South African video director, Nawaal Deane.

YWL Project evening of poetry, film and dialogue about women's sexuality with poet, Toni Stuart and a screening of Kali van der Merwe's award-winning documentary, Doing it (25 September 2013/ CAS Gallery- UCT) [IMAGES][FLYER]

On Wednesday 25 September 2013, the African Gender Institute’s Young Women’s Leadership Project hosted an evening of poetry, film and dialogue about women’s sexuality with poet Toni Stuart and a screening of Kali van der Merwe’s award-winning documentary, Doing It! Toni Stuart uses poetry to bring voice to issues of sexuality midst taboos on speaking about sex. The event includes a poetry performance and a screening of Kali van der Merwe’s Doing It! a film about four young South African women and the dangers, power and pleasures of exploring their sexuality. The screening will be followed by a discussion about agency and boundaries in expressing sexuality.

This event is part of the Young Women’s Leadership Project in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights at the AGI. The project at UCT conducts action research that aims to create safe spaces for students to raise questions and speak about sexual boundaries, sexual violence and sexual exploration.

African Feminists: Talking the Walk - 2012

Screening of award winning documentary, ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ & discussion with filmmaker, Yaba Badoe (29 August 2012)

Walking into the CAS Gallery on Wednesday 29 August 2012, the venue for the screening of Yaba Badoe’s documentary, ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ felt a little like walking into someone’s closet. The gallery was clad with gowns displaying the enormous creativity of women factory workers from the textile and clothing industry in the Western Cape. These gowns on display were for the Spring Queen fashion pageant hosted since the late 70s by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Worker’s Union (SACTWU). 

To top all of the imaginative displays in the gallery was the screening of the award winning documentary followed by a discussion. This skillfully made documentary weaves together stories of women who have been condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana. Although the women’s stories are on one level sad and disturbing to listen to, they simultaneously paint a picture of survival and hope in extremely difficult circumstances. One of the women narrated how other women in the camp contributed to her son’s school fees. Another woman, a ‘new inmate’ visibly upset by the ‘guilty verdict’ that saw her coming to the camp is comforted by other women who have been in the camp for longer.  In addition to the compelling storyline, the camera work and the use of music in the documentary go a long way in aiding the telling of the story. [VIEW IMAGES][LISTEN TO PODCAST][POSTER]

African Feminists: Talking the Walk - 2011

The politics of young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (August 2011)

The AGI’s programme of events, African Feminists: Talking the Walk kicked off on 24 August 2011 with a seminar on 'The politics of young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.' The presenters were Dr. Tanja Bosch, Lecturer and Researcher at UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies and Susan Holland- Muter, Project Convenor at the African Gender Institute. Opening the seminar, AGI Head of Department, Associate Professor Jane Bennett explained that the seminar was based on experiences of doing action research in one of AGI's projects- the Young Women's Leadership project (YWL). She also highlighted that the YWL project has a specific focus on institutions of higher education in the SADC region and seeks to strengthen research and action which involves the lives and empowerment of young women. The first phase of the project (April, 2010 – March, 2011) was implemented by project partners from the Universities of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, as well as from South Africa's Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand. Associate Professor Jane Bennett said the seminar presentation was specific to experiences of the University of Cape Town team. [PICTURES] [PODCAST]