Dean's Desk: Appointments to advance gender related advocacy

01 Jun 2022
siv greyson
01 Jun 2022

Dear Staff and Student Colleagues
The Faculty’s story is a collection of stories with multiple origins, varying journeys and unpredictable endings. Some of these stories are marked by gender or sexuality determined experiences. Recognising these realities, our transformation may not be fully realised without addressing those on the margins. We need meaningful intervention that accelerate new ways of seeing and being.
Two new appointments in the Deanery are expected to play a key role in contributing to a more inclusive, welcoming, safe and responsive space for our Faculty community. These two new roles were identified to pay special attention to gender and sexual diversity and gender-based violence. This follows the outcome of  processes to tackle transformation in our Faculty over many years, the latest being the Transformation Survey conducted in 2021.


siv greyson

Siv Greyson (they/them), who joined us on 1 May 2022 on a two year contract, takes up the role of Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate to facilitate an inclusive and welcoming place for gender diverse and LGBTQI+ colleagues. Aligning with the Office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC), they will focus on policies, processes and systems to help ensure that the FHS across it learning spaces, including the joint space, is safe and free of gender discrimination. They are also a patient advocate that will be contributing to the curriculum review process for compassionate evidence based care of gender diverse persons. Siv will be supported by a Gender Diversity advisory panel of staff and students that has been established by the Dean.
Siv is a Black transgender artist-activist-academic. While their formal educational training is in Social Anthropology, they have learned most of what they know from outside of the lecture hall. Given their student activist background, all of their work is underpinned by anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic, anti-Xenophobic, anti-ableist, anti-fatphobic, and anti-patriarchal politics that gently guide their work. Curious to the ways in which social movements are sustained, Siv is hopeful that their position as the Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate will serve as a continuation of the rigorous transformative work they have been attempting since they started at UCT in 2016. Siv has a Bachelor of Social Science (majoring in Sociology and Social Anthropology) and Honours Degree in Social Anthropology with distinction in both degrees and the Honours thesis. During this time, they lectured  both in Social Anthropology and Gender Studies. Since leaving UCT, Siv has focused their work on activism centred around queer and transgender rights. They were B Camminga’s research assistant for the African LGBTQ+ Migration Research Unit, contributed to an online curriculum on gender affirming healthcare for mysexualhealth, Siv has communicated on both academic and popular multi-media platforms as an academic and advocate for queer rights.
Siv is committed to curriculum transformation to ensure fit-for-purpose-and-context health workers and an institutional culture that recognises, includes, and affirms gender and sexually diverse people.
In tackling homotransphobia, Siv intends to work in collaboration with various change-making and change-needing spaces to make use of appropriate art-activist-academic tools to make the Faculty of Health Sciences a welcoming place for gender diverse and LGBTQI+ people. Siv promises public conversations, educational events, and more.
They are based physically at the Deanery on the Faculty of Health Sciences campus in Observatory and can be reached, virtually, via email Alternatively, you can keep track of what the Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate is up to via social media (@RainbowFHS on Instagram).


professor lillian artz

Prof Lillian Artz (she/her), Director of the Gender, Health & Justice Research Unit (GHJRU), takes on the role of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Liaison on a one day per week secondment from 1 June 2022. Her new position as Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Liaison is a formal, 20% commitment, which will serve to support the Deanery to create policies, processes and systems to ensure that FHS and the joint space is safe and free of GBV and sexual misconduct, and where these instances occur, to ensure that these matters are managed swiftly, fairly, and effectively. She will be assembling a small advisory team, who are well-established in the fields of GBV prevention and management in both the healthcare and justice sectors, to support this important process.

Based in the Division of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Department of Pathology, Lillian has conducted research and engaged in policy and legal reform activities in the areas of domestic violence, sexual offences, incarcerated women, and women’s rights to freedom and security in Africa for over 25 years. She has worked as a technical consultant to a wide range of national and regional human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations, and international development agencies in Southern, Central and East Africa, with a specific focus on violence prevention and response systems in conflict-affected, post-conflict and transitional African contexts.

Within the Faculty, she has been on the Transformation and Equity Committee for 10 years, where she represents the interests of soft-funded academic research staff. She is the former Chair of the UCT Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), an initiative that concluded after the restructuring of the Office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC). She has also been supporting and advocating for the improvement of responses and investigations into gender-violence and harassment complaints within the joint space for as long as she has been with the GHJRU. Over the years she has, on an ad hoc basis, assisted staff and students who have experienced gender-based violence or harassment to navigate and access institutional, health, and criminal justice services and support.

Both these appointments are significant developments for the Faculty in advancing transformation. With their substantive experience and deep understanding of LGBTQAI+ and GBV issues, I am looking forward to the guidance and contribution of Siv and Lillian to continue and enhance the work of achieving an inclusive and safe space for all in the Faculty.

With deep gratitude

Associate Professor Lionel Green-Thompson
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences