Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Posted on August 08, 2018

Every year on Women’s Day we celebrate the strength and tenacity of women, honouring our contribution to democracy and society in general, in commemoration of the Women’s March of 1956, and reflecting on what we still need to do to build a just society for all.

In 2018, we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Albertina Sisulu, one of the leaders of that historic march. She continues to inspire us with her commitment to women’s rights, education, housing, health care and social justice.

At the University of Pretoria (UP), we are proud of the many women researchers who have continued in this tradition of care, committing to highly impactful work in these and other fields. Women researchers at UP are making today, and every day, matter in similar ways by changing perceptions, leading society and debate, and contributing to knowledge production and research.

Women constitute the majority of staff and students and we are seeing ever-increasing numbers of women postgraduates and alumni. While we celebrate our progress made towards achieving gender equality, we also acknowledge that much remains to be done.

We are ever grateful to the generation of Albertina Sisulu, Rahima Moosa, Lillian Ngoyi, Fatima Meer, Sophie de Bruyn and Helen Joseph, who pioneered paths that transcended the social, gender and political oppression that they faced, to enable future generations of South African women the opportunities to flourish.

I invite you today to acknowledge and appreciate the roles women take on both in our professional and personal lives.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

- Author Department of University Relations

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