The left has a long history of dismissing women's struggles - expert

Research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser), Lisa Wvetton, says strong steps must be taken by Equal Education to prevent the abuse of women.

Allegations of sexual harassment have been leveled against two of the organisation's current and former senior members.

The Mail&Gaurdian reports that co-founder and treasurer Doron Isaacs is facing multiple sexual harassment allegations, this after General Secretary Tshepo Motsepe resigned amid similar claims.

Prominent activist Zackie Achmat has been accused of covering Isaacs tracks. Both have denied these allegations.

READ: 'We have the right to examine the behavior of activists'

ALSO READ: Motsepe 'sex pest' claim: WCED MEC admits department does not 'vet' NGO staff

While there have been calls for an investigation, Vetten says the left has a long history of dismissing women's struggles.

There is a particular challenge to NGOs, that precisely because you are doing work that is seen to be progressive or morally right, that you do not always examine other aspects of your conduct. There is a need to constantly subject your self to scrutiny on all sorts of levels.

Lisa Vetten, research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

I think there is also a real difficulty in South Africa historically, in the left certainly, has a long history of dismissing women's struggles as being of second class importance.

Lisa Vetten, research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

One has to be fairly careful that one condemns the behavior and ensures that strong steps are taken to ensure that it does not happen again but one does not do so in a way that necessarily undermines or destroys the organisation.

Lisa Vetten, research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

It would be important to ensure that Equal Education is getting sufficiently impartial people in to do the investigation, and also giving the necessary support.

Lisa Vetten, research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview...


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