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Social Justice

Institutional culture

The Social Justice cluster at Wits falls within the portfolio of the DVC: People Development and Culture, Prof. Garth Stevens, and is dedicated to fostering an inclusive institutional culture by championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

It encompasses the initiatives of the Transformation and Employment Equity Office, the advocacy work of the Gender Equity Office, and the focused efforts of the Disability Rights Unit, as well as a range of student support initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs.

Gender Equity Office

The Gender Equity Office (GEO) deals with all aspects of gender-based harm and the advancement of gender equity. We offer our services free of charge to all staff and students of the University.

The Gender Equity Office collects and tracks all GBH/ V-related complaints across the University. We analyse trends to inform and improve intervention initiatives; provide a safe and confidential space with full-time counselling support to complainants and victims of GBH/V; advise complainants and victims of GBH/V of their options; oversee an independent disciplinary procedure for formal complaints against staff or students accused of GBH/V; and engage actively in advocacy around gender equality.

We are on the 20th Floor, University Corner, corner of Jorissen Street and Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein ‚Äč(the building above the Wits Art Museum). The office is open from 08h00 to 16h30  from Monday to Friday. 

  • Contact us: info.geo@wits.ac.za 
  • After-hours/weekends/holidays: If on campus, notify Protection Services at (011 717 4444/ 011 717 6666), or go to the nearest hospital and/or police station as soon as possible.

See our website for more information and a full list of GEO staff members and contact details.

Transformation and Employment Equity Office

The Transformation and Employment Equity Office helps implement programmes and projects supporting the University's transformation agenda. The transformation agenda is framed by national development goals, equity legislation, and the United Nations Millennium Declaration. At the heart of the transformation process are the values enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights.

Our services, projects and priority areas include:

  • Mediation services: Trained and accredited mediators are available to assist you in addressing conflicts.
  • Anyone who experiences any form of discrimination on campus may report their complaint to us. Discrimination may include racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism or classism.
  • Developing the University’s Employment Equity Plan.
  • Developing and ensuring compliance with social justice policies such as the Disability Equity policy.
  • Providing advocacy and awareness on race, gender and disability, as a means of promoting diversity within the University.
  • Promoting the Wits language policy.
  • Transforming our curricula so that they reflect diverse sources of the best forms of knowledge from within South Africa, Africa and across the world.
  • Tackling cyberbullying.
Contact us if you need help or advice

Mrs Cecilia Smith | Tel: 011 717 1462 | Email: Cecilia.Smith@wits.ac.za 

Click here for more contact details.

Disability Rights Unit

Since 1986 students with disabilities have been an integral part of the Wits community. The Wits Disability Rights Unit (DRU) works to overcome the educational barriers and accessibility requirements facing students with visual, hearing, physical, learning, and psychological disabilities, and chronic illnesses. Support services are tailored to each student and disability and may include the use of state-of-the-art assistive technology and other forms of human support.  Guided by inclusive disability policies, the DRU focuses on the design of innovative learning and working environments and the promotion of disability awareness and the abilities of people with disabilities.

The DRU also supports staff members with disabilities with requests for reasonable accommodations to ensure that staff members are able to fulfil their roles. In line with the Policy on the Workplace Inclusion of Employees with Disabilities, the DRU provides support, guidance, and advice to Faculties, Departments, and employees. Further to this, the DRU is involved in developing and implementing disability advocacy and awareness programmes.

Visit our website 

Contact us if you need help or advice

Subhashini Ellan | Email: subhashini.ellan@wits.ac.za  | Tel: 011 717 9161