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IPSA to host annual WIWISA symposium

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The International Peace College South Africa (IPSA) will be hosting its annual IPSA Women in Islam – Women in South Africa Symposium on campus this Saturday, 29 October.  The WIWISA symposium is an important flagship event on IPSA’s annual academic calendar, as it initiates important conversations and engaging debates on various issues related to gender and gender-justice within the South African Muslim community.
Previous symposia have looked at women’s contributions to the development of Islamic education in South Africa, and also interrogated the current discourses around the Muslim Marriages Bill.

Essentially, the WIWISA symposium aims to create a platform for discussing critical issues of gender in Islam in a way that recognizes and takes serious the voices, experiences and lived realities of Muslim women and men. It also allows us the opportunity to honour and pay tribute to individuals and organizations that are committed to and work towards realizing Quranic egalitarian ideals of social and gender justice within our community.

The theme for this year’s WIWISA symposium is Muslim Women at the Intersections of Violence: Contextualizing Poverty, Racism, and Terror. The recent political conflicts and genocidal wars in the Middle East, parts of Africa and other regions; including the global “War on Terror” together with its attendant Islamophobic responses; the increasing influences of jihadist rhetoric; the widespread refugee crisis and the perilous xenophobic climates that such creates; the high levels of sexual and other forms gender-based violence in South Africa including the prevailing conditions of socio-economic and racial inequalities; as well as the ongoing drug wars and gang violence in the Western Cape – emphasize just some of the multiple and intersecting sites of struggle, violence, and injustice that many Muslim women experience.

Using the concepts of racism, poverty, and terror as a broad-based intersectional lens, the symposium aims to critically examine some of the varying and varied ways that violence impacts upon women’s lives. More importantly, the symposium recognizes therefore also locates South African women’s lived experiences beyond victimhood and seeks to map out reparative strategies that can help to shift the discourse towards that of justice, peace and healing.

Speakers include Cage Africa spokesperson Karen Jayes, political analyst Ayesha Kajee, community activist Gabieba Gaidien, Islamic Relief spokesperson Fazlin Fransman, Imam Rashied Omar, IHATA shelter founder Nuraan Osman and poet Malika Ndlovu.
Date: Saturday, 29 October 2016
Time: 13h30 – 18h00

Venue: IPSA Conference Room. Corner Duine and Johnston Road Rylands Estate Cape Town.
Limited seating available. RSVP: Munthirah Kriel   at


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