Empower student development practitioners to deal with GBV – Student Counselling Director

Dr Paulette Naidoo

Dr Paulette Naidoo, Director of the Student Counselling unit, Student Affairs, made a presentation at the National Association of Student Development Professionals (NASDEV) Best Practices Summit held at UKZN’s Howard College campus, on 10 May 2024. Dr Naidoo spoke about the role of student leadership in assisting universities to combat the problem of GBV (Gender-based violence), with particular emphasis on student leaders using their position of power and influence to promote gender justice and gender equality. Student leaders and student development practitioners from various universities across the country were present at the Summit. The presentation by Dr Naidoo encouraged attendees to critically self-reflect on how GBV manifests in higher education institutions, how GBV is perpetuated through abuse of power and trust, and the importance of holding each other accountable when GBV transgressions are reported. Dr Naidoo’s presentation closed with a call for student leadership and student development practitioners to be effectively empowered on GBV, if they are to be effective change agents that help break the GBV cycle at universities, and in their communities.