Roundtable Discussion from the Annual Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice Public Lecture on Economies of Violence




In South Africa, the month of August is marked by two significant events in the country’s history: The anti-apartheid women’s march which hap-pened on 9 August 1956 and the Marikana massacre on 16 August 2012, in which 34 miners were killed by the police at the Lonmin mine. These events bring up for scrutiny the “Economies of Violence” that continue to sustain the indignity and the poverty which women, queer people, and marginalised black people in South Africa disproportionately experience. The Covid-19 pandemic has simply exacerbated this reality. Recognising the multiple factors which shape access to justice such as gender, religion, race, and class, the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice annually convenes various public and scholarly conversations on these subjects. The 2021 symposium considered the importance of resisting/transcending the epistemic violence which de-mands that black women focus on research and teaching that is perpetually located within pain and suffering. By doing so, the keynote presenter, Prof Sa’diyya Shaikh, and respondents, Dr Fatima Seedat and Dr Farah Zeb, also considered the spiritual reflections and practices which bring us joy and rest.

Author Biographies

Sa’diyya Shaikh, University of Cape Town

Sa’diyya Shaikh is Associate Professor in the Department for the Study of Religions at the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on Islam, gender, and sexuality with a special interest in Islamic Mysticism, Feminist Theory, and Muslim Ethics.

Fatima Seedat, University of Cape Town

Dr. Fatima Seedat is Head of the Department of African Feminist Studies at the University of Cape Town, where she specialises in Islamic Law and its intersections with gender and sexuality.

Farah Zeb, Independent scholar in Gender and Islamic Studies

Dr Farah Zeb completed her PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK in 2017. She is an Independent Scholar and Research Consultant. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, ethics, vulnerability and social inclusion. Her broader interests encompass contemporary Islamic thought; law, politics and social policy; postcolonial studies; exclusion and inequality; community cohesion and engagement; and interfaith dialogue. Prior to academia, she was working in various capacities for both statutory and non-statutory organisations to support vulnerable members of our diverse communities – from children and young people to vulnerable adults.






Roundtable Discussion