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Publicity

Journal of International Women's Studies

Call for Papers - GENDER, POVERTY AND INEQUALITY

Debates on gender equality have often been expressed in terms of institutions, intersectionality, power relations and agency, and construction and post-construction approaches. The battles that women fought during the struggle for national liberation in South Africa are an example of agency, the most significant moment being the women’s march to the Union Buildings (1956) which united women of all races in the call for the banning of passes. Indeed, this radical struggle for gender equality culminated in the 1994 democratic dispensation and the 1996 Constitution that recognised the rights of all who live in South Africa. By 1996, it appeared that the battle for equality had been won. The inclusion of a clause outlawing gender discrimination that had been the norm in South Africa was a major achievement for women. Yet for women in post-apartheid South Africa, the gender equality clause in 1996 was only the beginning of more battles on the constitutional and political front. Whether gender equality has been achieved in South Africa is subject to debate.

In order to understand gender equality and implications for praxis, it is important to employ methodologies that not only disaggregate data and theoretical approaches that deconstruct the place of women in contemporary South Africa, but also shed light on gender, poverty and inequality. It is with this in mind that we call for papers that reflect concerns on gender, poverty and inequality. In South Africa as elsewhere women are not a homogenous group and, therefore analyses should delve deep into these differences and thus aim to paint a more representative status of women that interrogates class, ethnicity, race and other categories besides.

In the meantime, South African women have advanced into leadership positions and, according to the MDG report 2015, South Africa was close to bridging the gender gap in terms of women’s representation in political leadership. Indeed, two South African women stand out; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former chairperson of the African Union (AU), and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the current Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of United Nations (UN) Women. Women in Ministerial positions in South Africa are no longer a rare phenomenon but the norm. In education, girls and young women have made strides too. Gender parity has been achieved in basic and tertiary education, but that is where parity ends. Current statistics showing that women have made strides into leadership positions in various fields, including employment in the non-agricultural sector, suggest that the women are occupying spaces that were previously dominated by men and out of bounds for women in general. However, the successes achieved pale in comparison to the continuing patriarchal dominance in both the private and public spheres Men dominate the political sphere, while white men in particular still dominate the economic sphere. The androcentric organisational cultures that entrench gender inequality remain untouched. Progress has been made on the political front but gender inequality and poverty still persist.

Thus, despite state investment in poverty reduction programmes, women are over-represented amongst the poor. In the private sphere, women’s oppression and subordination has yet to be tackled. Domestic violence remains a challenge despite the training of police on how to deal with such cases. In the immediate post-apartheid period poverty had a female face and that face has not changed. The face of poverty is not just female but that female is most often, African (Black).

It is against this background that this Special Issue seeks papers that explore questions and debates surrounding gender, poverty and inequality. The Special Issue not only seeks to take stock of the progress made in terms of gender, poverty and inequality, but also envision the future. We seek papers that employ a range of feminist theoretical and conceptual frameworks in explicating issues concerning women, gender, poverty and inequality and how these interact within a contested social, political and economic terrain. This call is for papers with a nuanced approach to explicating gender, poverty and inequality from a range of feminist epistemologies. Given the liberal Constitutional canvass, as well as policies that seek to promote gender equality in practice and the requirement that institutions (public and private) monitor gender transformation, this Special Issue raises questions about what gender equality has meant in practice and what the future portends for women. Although the context described is South African, the title and the themes are relevant in many contexts. Thus, this call is open papers that address the themes regardless of context. The papers submitted need to address one or more of the following themes:

  1. Gender and development (land, planning, housing,)
  2. Gender and poverty (entrepreneurship etc.)
  3. Gender, education, and leadership
  4. Gender and the economy
  5. Gender, agriculture and the environment
  6. Gender, arts and culture (including indigeneity)
  7. Gender and the family
  8. Gender and aging
  9. Gender and migration

Interested contributors are requested to submit their abstracts to the editors of the Special Issue.

Authors are requested to submit abstracts (500 words) to the editors of the edition by 31 May 2017.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 10 June 2017.

The full-length papers of accepted abstracts will be required to submit full-length papers to the editors by 30 September 2017.

Final Papers are due on 31 December 2017.

Special Issue Editors:

  • Dr. Catherine Ndinda
    Human Science Research Council
    Private Bag X41
    Pretoria 0001
    Email: cndinda@hsrc.ac.za or drndindac@gmail.com
  • Dr. Tidings P. Ndhlovu
    Department of Economics and International Business, Manchester Metropolitan University
    Manchester, M15 6BH, United Kingdom
    Email: t.ndhlovu@mmu.ac.uk
    Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, Midrand, Johannesburg 1685