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Current Awareness 2020: November

What's happening in South Africa

What is current awareness?

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research

Websites of the Month

Our attention was drawn to the IDEA website by the following publication:

Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) (2019) The Global State of Democracy 2019: Addressing the Ills, Reviving the Promise, edited by Annika Silva-Leander

Apart from IDEA's publications, which include coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on democracy, and their upcoming webinars, take a look at the link to DATA & TOOLS. This site is worth exploring:

Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)

The second website that came to our attention is that of the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. The link to the home page has been embedded in the previous sentence, but the part of the website we wish to draw to your attention is the Seminar and Podcasts page which links you through to the archive of podcasts (the oldest is 5 May 2009 and the most recent to date is 19 November 2020):

University of Oxford: African Studies Centre: Podcasts

A sample of the topics discussed include:

  • Rethinking work from a Uganda perspective
  • Decolonisation dilemmas: Challenges for University Leadership
  • Student activism in an era of decolonization

Further reading

Click on the embedded link to view books in the Unisa Library Catalogue on the subject of violence against women and children:

(violence AND against) AND (child* OR gender* OR women)

About the monthly current awareness page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

Selected noteworthy days in November

3 Nov-3 Dec: Disability Rights Awareness Month (South Africa)

18 Nov to 24 Nov: World Health Organization (WHO) World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

25 Nov to 10 Dec: 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children (South Africa)


  • It is a WORLDWIDE Campaign to OPPOSE VIOLENCE against WOMEN and CHILDREN
  • It aims to raise awareness of the NEGATIVE impact that VIOLENCE and ABUSE have on WOMEN and CHILDREN and to RID society of ABUSE PERMANENTLY


  • The 16 Days of Activism Campaign is held from 25 November to 10 December every year
  • However, the success of this campaign rests on our daily individual and collective actions to safeguard our society against this cycle of abuse


It stems from the low status of women in the home and in society

It happens when men abuse POWER and positions of authority in order to CONTROL women and children


Any form of behaviour that causes:

  • fear
  • bodily harm
  • a person to do things against their will …”

Visit this page to learn what laws Parliament passed to protect women and children from violence.

1 Nov: Mukhwana, AM & Omumbo, J (2020) "Study sheds light on what it takes for women to succeed - or not - in science in Africa"

2 Nov: UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

3 Nov Bilateral Meeting between South Africa and France, Pretoria, South Africa

5 Nov: United Nations World Tsunami Awareness Day

6 Nov: SADC Malaria Day

6 Nov: UN International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

10 Nov: South Africa's accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with South East Asian nations, Cape Town, South Africa

10 Nov: Political Consultations between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cape Town, South Africa

10 Nov: "Cardinal Parolin on McCarrick Report:  Moved by the truth to avoid past errors" (includes link to full report)

11 Nov: Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on progress in the national effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa

11 Nov: The New England Journal of Medicine published the following articles:

Remembrance Day | 11 November 2020.... - SA National Defence Force |  Facebook

[Credit for Image]

10-12 Nov: African Forum on Women Peace and Security, Cape Town, South Africa

12 Nov: Peters, Adele "Solar fridges and powdered vaccines: How to get a COVID-19 vaccine to the developing world"

12 Nov: US election results 2020: Biden wins presidency, defeating TrumpThe Guardian, 12/11/2020

14 Nov: WHO World Diabetes Day

15 Nov: Glenn, Caroline and Fraser, Trevor "Not a test anymore: SpaceX, NASA launch 4 astronauts from Cape in historic mission"

17 Nov: WHO World Remembrance Day for Victims of Road Accidents

18 Nov: WHO World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day (COPD)

18 Nov: Farid, Hany and McGregor, Jeff "We have the technology to fight manipulated images and videos. It's time to use it"

19 Nov: UNICEF World Toilet Day

19 Nov: UNESCO World Philosophy Day

20 Nov: UN Universal Children's Day

20 Nov: UN Africa Industrialization Day

20 Nov: Rubenson, David "Why your scientific presentation should not be adapted from a journal article"

21 Nov: UN World Fisheries Day

21 Nov: UN World Television Day

25 Nov: UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

29 Nov: UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

30 Nov: UN Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

In the media

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Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:






Looking for upcoming 2019 conferences?

If you are looking for 2019's forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden oldies

Ellsberg, Mary Carroll and Heise, Lori (2005) Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists. Washington, DC, USA: World Health Organization (WHO) and Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH).
Extract from Introduction (p. 6): "This manual is written for anyone interested in the application of social science and public health research methods to the study of gender-based violence. The manual assumes a certain level of familiarity with the logic of research and is not a substitute for training in research or research methodologies. It is designed for researchers who want to know more about adapting traditional research techniques to the special case of investigating physical and sexual abuse. And it is designed for activists, community workers, and service providers who want to become conversant in methodological issues. One of the goals of this manual is to facilitate collaborations between researchers and community-based workers and activists by providing practitioners with an introduction to the tools and language of research, and by giving researchers greater insight into the specific issues that accompany research on violence."
The next two video links are not old at all. They form part of a series of nine lectures that ran from March to August 2020 called Lectures at Home created by The Arts Society, London, for art lovers confined to their homes by the UK national lockdown:
Rescuing unwanted diaries! Lecture by Irving Finkel - Curator, British Museum, London (The Arts Society, London) (28:27 mins long)
Aboriginal Art - Recording the Dreamtime: Lecture by Rebecca Hossack - Art Gallery Owner, and former Cultural Attaché at the Australian Embassy in London, Accredited Lecturer at The Arts Society (The Arts Society, London) (34:07 mins long)