Start main page content

GBV Campaigns

Part of the GEO's mandate is to do advocacy work around GBV, championing a safe university campus and ultimately the eradication of GBV at Wits.

In order to raise awareness and consciousness about gender, gender based harm, and overall gender relations, we have different initiatives to educate and engage.

Red My Lips

Red My Lips is an international nonprofit organisation designed to raise visibility and awareness about the resalities and prevalence of sexual violence, while combating rape myths and victim-blaming. The organisation runs an annual global awareness and action campagin where fierce and fearless supporters rock red lipstick all throughout the month of April to demonstrate solidarity and support for survivors and start important conversations with people in their lives. the campaign seeks to transform our culture of sexual violence by educating, inspiring and mobilising a global community to red heir lips, raise their voices, and create real change.

  • The TeamThe Red My Lips campaign is made possible through the partnership of various offices and volunteers on campus. This year the offices involved were GEO, CCDU, DLU, DfL and VoWfm. We are thankful to all the student volunteers who made their time and talents available to us.
  • The Graffiti Wall - The graffiti wall next to The Matrix has been used over the past two years as a place for the Wits community to leave messages of support and encouragement for those who have survived sexual violence.
  • Poetry - In 2016 pop up poetry was introduced as a way to start conversations on campus about victim blaming and silencing. Different poets would appear on campus, unannounced and perform a short piece. The pieces were thought provoking and definitely helped start conversations across campus.

If you or someone that you know has been sexually assaulted please feel free and safe to speak to us. You can send us an email (, a Facebook message (Wits Gender Equity Office), call us (011 717 9790) or visit us at our offices (20th Floor, University Corner).

Silent Protest 2016

The SILENT PROTEST is the biggest protest against rape and sexual violence in South Africa and aims to draw attention to, and challenge the culture of silence around, sexual violence in our country, to raise public awareness about the extent of the problem of sexual violence and to offer a space where, in large numbers, protestors can stand in solidarity with all survivors of sexual violence. 

Why do people tape their mouths shut, rather than talk about the issue?

In order to make visible how many people are affected by sexual violence and how many people never report what has happened to them, the majority of participants tape their mouths shut, embodying for one day the silence, hurt and loss that most rape survivors live daily.

What happens on the day?

Men and women, staff and students, gather on the day at 8am to affirm their commitment to justice and an end to sexual violence and spend all day wearing purple T-shirts, participating in events designed to get people thinking about the realities of sexual violence and finally coming together to break the silence and talk about the unspeakable.

Michael Kimmel Lectures

Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. He is the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013. 

A tireless advocate of engaging men to support gender equality, Kimmel has lectured at more than 300 college, universities and high schools. He has delivered the International Women’s Day annual lecture at the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Europe, and has worked with the Ministers for Gender Equality of Norway, Denmark and Sweden in developing programs for boys and men. He consults widely with corporations, NGOs and public sector organizations on gender equity issues.

​(This biography can be found on Michael's website)
During May 2016, Wits was fortunate enough to have Micahel as a guest speaker on masculinity and gender equity. Both the lectures can be found on the WiCDS YouTube channel as indicated below:
Photographs credit: Prince Eno "Koko" Bassey.