The University of Cape Town has launched South Africa’s first Inclusivity Policy for Sexual Orientation. Under the policy, staff at the university will be required to use content and language that is inclusive, neutral and non-discriminatory.

This includes the use of language that refrains from creating gender and sexual orientation boxes which alludes to the assumption that everyone is heterosexual.

The Chairperson of Rainbow UCT, Viwe Tafeni, says one of the aims of the policy is to show that heterosexual and same-sex partnerships are considered equal.

“Other institutions have policies that deal with discrimination. However, these are very broad and ill-fitting for certain protected identities. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that UCT’s institutional response reflects the principles enshrined in the constitution which states that everyone is equal before the law and prohibits unfair discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and sexual orientation.”