Secondly, the new focus on sexualities and gender will allow the centre to communicate with their colleagues, academics and researchers across the continent, allowing them to tackle the issue of conservative thinking, which is prevalent in Africa, around these topics.
Lastly, Brouard expressed the hope that by incorporating sexualities and gender into the title and linking this with the current work done on Aids, it will allow the centre to strive towards a transformation conversation within and beyond the confines of the university.
When asked whether the change in name would be accompanied by a change in the centre’s focus, Brouard told Perdeby that “everything we do will continue”. However, he also indicated that the name change would allow for the possibility of new work, such as the conducting of gender audits for other organisations or the conducting of research pieces on sexuality, masculinity and femininity.
Senior manager, Johan Maritz, added that new services, such as the offering of Aids testing services at the centres offices, had already been provided before the name change. Despite the potential changes that may occur as a result of the name change and the new services provided, Brouard stated that “Aids will remain a key focus” for the centre and its work.
Concerning the topic of sexuality and gender, Brouard indicated that it was the centre’s desire for “people to come and talk with us. [To] engage with us [on] how they would like to be involved or what they would like [to see] from the university regarding these themes”. Maritz added that the centre offers the opportunity for students to interrogate and discuss these themes in an environment that would be safe and judgement free.
Brouard stated that their aim is “to promote a respectful discourse around these kinds of things. We actually want to go beyond the giggling and judging because these things are actually quite important.”