Amanda Gouws


This article attempts to capture some reflections by an African feminist scholar and activist on the activism and academic debate at the Global Feminist Dialogues (FD) in Porte Alegre, Brazil in January 2005. The activism and the space for dialogue is a feminist space that includes different types of feminism, but is also a space that attempts to build a movement within diverse feminist networks. This form of activism is contrasted with the depoliticization of activism caused by gender mainstreaming in Africa. The academic debate at the FD takes place in the intersections between activism and theorizing and opens a space for discussing the politics of the body, the problems of strategizing and the problems of translation of the local to the global, as well as the creation of strategies for action.

Author Biography

Amanda Gouws is Professor of Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Her research deals with women and citizenship, women’s representation as well National Gender Machineries. In 2005 an edited collection appeared under her name titled (Un)Thinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa. UK: Ashgate/Cape Town: Juta. She is presently doing a research project on the Women’s Movement in South Africa. She is a board member of the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town.