Launch: Troubling cis(heteronormative) institutional practices through the paradigms of trans(formative) policy
The Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G) attended the GDX (Gender Dynamix) Model Policy Framework (MPF) Launch colloquium which was held on 14 April 2023 at the Neville Alexander Lecture Theatre at the University of Cape Town. The theme of the launch was “Troubling cis(heteronormative) institutional practices through the paradigms of trans(formative) policy”. This was the official introduction of GDX’s policy framework for Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse Students within Higher Education Institutions in South Africa. The colloquium brought together various stakeholders, policymakers and other experts.
Dr. Sianne Alves from the Office of Inclusivity and Change from UCT welcomed the attendees and emphasised the importance of the new policy framework. Khanyi Phillips, the Education Advocacy coordinator at GDX, unpacked the purpose of the policy framework and its relevance in providing guidelines that promote accessible and non-discriminatory administrative procedures which respects the human rights of trans and ender diverse students within higher education institutes in South Africa. The keynote address was delivered by Elena Ryklief, who provided personal experience as to how this type of policy will go a long way in making institutes of higher learning a more inclusive space.
Following the keynote address, Naledi Mpanza from the CSA&G and the SOGIESC Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, both at the University of Pretoria presented a joint research report which was titled ‘Always on (the) edge: universities, space and gender. A preliminary report on the views of members of an SGBV COP on the trans experience in university accommodation’.
Two panel discussions were held. The first with various student leaders who highlighted the challenges, importance and impact of student advocacy and the second with industry experts who spoke on the importance of policy frameworks towards realising the 2030 Global Agenda and SDG 4 in particular in South Africa’s higher education sector.
The conference also featured performances from the Stellenbosch University Choir as well as Phefumla Queer Collective.
Attendees expressed enthusiasm for the new policy framework and its potential to positively impact the sector. The launch of the policy framework is an important step towards achieving the objectives of inclusivity as a means to quality education. It is expected to guide decision-making and contribute to the growth and development of higher institutions of learning.
The framework is available here:
The report ‘Always on (the) edge: universities, space and gender. A preliminary report on the views of members of an SGBV COP on the trans experience in university accommodation‘ is available here: