Doek now a helmet of courage

26 October 2015 - 02:23 By Reabetswe Khoabane

The colourful headgear being worn by female students in the #FeesMustFall protests is a way for women to reclaim their space and demonstrate their role in providing leadership. Incoming Wits Student Representative Council president Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, who has worn her head-dress throughout the campaign against the cost of tertiary education, has influenced other women students to wear theirs as a sign of solidarity.Called a head-wrap, turban or doek - it is now being called the helmet of courage.Wits' incoming SRC secretary-general Fasiha Hassan told The Times that women students were also using the head-dress to ''show the intersection'' between men and women in the #FeesMustFall movement."This movement is bigger than gender, politics and race. It's about uniting together to achieve one goal for the students,'' said Hassan.In an interview last week, Hassan said women had been heavily involved in preparations in the lead-up to the protests and were ''reclaiming our space''."The doek spoke to the perceived role of women - in the kitchen, not leading," said first-year accounting student Phumzile Sithole. "We want to show that women can lead."Sithole said she was inspired to wear the head-gear by Mkhatshwa. ''After seeing how Nompendulo wore hers, it made me realise the power of women. She didn't only influence me, she influenced other students of different races and classes."

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