Much a-dough about gingerbread women

11 August 2004

They were back on campus last week, with their form so sweet, baked in a pan, fresh from the oven, glossy and brown, the loveliest gingerbread women in town (with apologies to author Eva Rowland).

Following last year's successful fund-raiser, Amnesty International-UCT (AI-UCT), joined forces with the UCT Gender Forum and Pick 'n Pay to bake and sell gingerbread women in celebration of Women's Day on August 9.

The team of about 30 baked up a storm this year, producing around 600 of the treats in the Smuts Hall kitchen. But the all-night session of last year was trimmed substantially this time (with bakers donning aprons and wielding icing bags guns from just 17h00 to midnight), thanks to Pick 'n Pay's donation of ready-made dough, in addition to other ingredients.

"We did have a whole hospital section, though" said Katy Hindle, events coordinator for AI-UCT. "For some reason a whole batch broke up and we had to patch them together with icing."

"Held for the first time last year, the symbolic event proved to be a simple but symbolic way of breaking down gender stereotypes. Women and men from a variety of backgrounds came together to promote and celebrate the diversity and strength of women in South Africa," AI-UCT media officer, Ana-Paula de Almeida, said in a release.

The proceeds of the biscuit sale will go to Baphumelele, a home in Khayelitsha for abandoned children, most of whom are HIV positive. A portion of the funds will also be used to print UCT's rape policy (the UCT Gender Forum has put a lot of work into this) on rulers, to be given out during Orientation Week next year.

The organisers hope to make this an annual event.

"It's something anyone can get involved in, regardless of whether they know anything about gender issues or violence against women," Hindle added.

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