UP Law launches Trans Awareness campaign

Posted on August 20, 2021

The Faculty of Law has embarked on the TransAwareness@UP campaign, which aims to ensure the implementation of UP’s Trans Protocol within the faculty. The campaign is being led by the faculty’s Transformation Committee.

“This campaign seeks to promote the creation of a more inclusive and open Faculty of Law for all staff and students regardless of gender identity, and to prevent discrimination and exclusion of transgender and non-binary staff and students in the faculty,” said Dr Melanie Murcott, Senior Lecturer in Administrative and Environmental Law and Chairperson of the faculty’s Transformation Committee.

The UP Trans Protocol is a guideline to respond to the needs of trans, intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary staff and students. The broader aim of the protocol, which supports and strengthens the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, is to eradicate discrimination against affected individuals, and to build an inclusive, affirming environment and institutional culture at UP.

“The faculty celebrates and values the diversity of its staff and student body,” Dr Murcott added. “In line with the constitutional values of human dignity and equality, and the advancement of human rights and freedoms, UP Law aims to create an environment in which all staff and students feel equally valued, and in which transphobic behaviour is not tolerated.”

For Dr Murcott, the campaign is important because violence, discrimination and hatred towards members of the LGBTQI+ community is still present in South Africa and the rest of the world. UP Law hopes this campaign can be a springboard for continuous and meaningful change.

“The campaign is an ongoing process, and we hope it can foster ongoing reform,” Dr Murcott said. “Going forward, the faculty will, among other measures, create a web page informing transgender and non-binary students and staff how to change titles and/or pronouns on various UP platforms, and offering a variety of other important resources to facilitate change.”


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