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South Africa

Producing Homonormativity in Neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution, and the Equality Project

Citation:

Oswin, Natalie. 2007. “Producing Homonormativity in Neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution, and the Equality Project.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 32 (3): 649–69. 

Author: Natalie Oswin

Keywords: homosexuality, homonormativity, neoliberalism, South Africa, LGBTQ+

Annotation:

"When the NCGLE came into being, it opted to pursue a politics of strategic essentialism that ignored the ways in which class, race, and gender issues are inevitably intertwined with sexuality. Thus, it deepened community schisms along these lines and made its self- imposed task of building a strong, cohesive gay and lesbian movement in the postapartheid era that much more difficult. I suggest that its subsequent flawed attempts to bridge a politics of recognition with a meaningful politics of redistribution should not be read as a failure to address the needs of 'poor, black gays and lesbians'. Rather, it should be read as the only possible outcome. The NCGLE/EP did not manage to shake off the yoke of the binary that divides South Africa’s gay and lesbian community into haves and have-nots because it played a role in producing this binary. By serving as a euphemism for community in South African gay and lesbian political discourse, this figure offered a way for the NCGLE/EP to make itself relevant to its intended audience while molding that audience into a cohesive group. The 'poor, black gay and lesbian' is a caricature that played a starring role in the NCGLE/EP’s performance of recognition and redistribution. This figure is the product of the overlay of divisions within the gay and lesbian community onto the strategy of the organization that exacerbated them” (Oswin 2007, 666).

Topics: Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

Gendered (In)Security in South Africa: What Can Ubuntu Feminism Offer?

Citation:

du Plessis, Gretchen Erika. 2019. “Gendered Human (In)Security in South Africa: What Can Ubuntu Feminism Offer?” Acta Academica 51 (2): 41–63.

Author: Gretchen Erika du Plessis

Abstract:

Gendered human security as a focus for protracted violence against women in a society in transition calls for urgent attention, especially in South Africa. The author summarises some tenets of ubuntu feminism and juxtaposes them with state-centric and people-centric discourses of human security and their link to development, gendered well-being and interpersonal violence. Inadequate attention paid to human interdependency as seen through an ubuntu feminist lens is linked to poor responses in addressing interpersonal and gender violence. The argument is made that an individualised, human-rights based approach is inadequate as a frame to find sustainable solutions to intractable gendered human insecurity. Looking at human insecurity and violence against women in South Africa, this article offers three arguments in favour of ubuntu feminism for renewed efforts to analyse the issue and locate adequate responses.

Keywords: South Africa, African feminism, violence

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

Vulnerabilities and Inequalities Experienced by Women in the Climate Change Discourse in South Africa’s Rural Communities: Implications for Social Work

Citation:

Nyahunda, Louis, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, and Frans Koketso Matlakala. 2020. “Vulnerabilities and Inequalities Experienced by Women in the Climate Change Discourse in South Africa’s Rural Communities: Implications for Social Work.” The British Journal of Social Work. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcaa118.

Authors: Louis Nyahunda, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, Frans Koketso Matlakala

Abstract:

Women’s vulnerability to climate-induced shocks hinges on a high dependence on climate-sensitive livelihoods and a natural resource base aggravated by the acute inequalities that they experience due to patriarchal dominance. This article’s purpose is to unpack the vulnerabilities and inequalities that rural women experience in the climate change terrain which necessitates the involvement of the social work profession. This study adopted a qualitative methodology guided by a multi-case study design. A sample of twenty-five participants, including community members and social workers, participated in the study. These participants were selected through simple purposive and convenient sampling techniques. Data were collected using focus group discussions and individual interviews. The thematic content analysis was followed to analyse the findings. The study established that rural women are impacted by various vulnerabilities and inequalities in the climate change discourse, which serve as barriers to their effective adaptation. The vulnerabilities and inequalities manifest through lack of land and property rights, discrimination from decision-making processes, poverty and lack of adequate knowledge about climate change mitigation and adaptation. Social work involvement to address these catastrophes is scant in the Vhembe district in Limpopo province, South Africa. The study recommends that all climate change interventions should put an end to inequalities women experience in order for them to be effective and social workers should be at the frontline of such initiative.

Keywords: climate change, Inequalities, rural women, social work, Vhembe district, vulnerabilities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2020

Rural Electrification, Gender and the Labor Market: A Cross-Country Study of India and South Africa

Citation:

Rathi, Sambhu Singh, and Claire Vermaak. 2018. “Rural Electrification, Gender and the Labor Market: A Cross-Country Study of India and South Africa.” World Development 109: 346-59.

Authors: Sambhu Singh Rathi, Claire Vermaak

Abstract:

This cross-country study estimates the effect of household electrification on labor market outcomes for rural individuals in India and South Africa, two developing countries that have implemented large-scale rural electrification schemes in recent decades. Two identification strategies are used: propensity score matching and panel fixed effects estimation. We focus on three indicators of labor market success: employment, earnings and hours worked. We find that electrification raises the annual incomes earned by those who work in paid employment, for both men and women in both countries. For India, both genders work fewer hours, suggesting that electricity raises productivity. For South Africa, where the labor market has less absorptive capacity, there is no employment benefit of electrification. But women who work benefit the most from the productivity gains of electrification: they have greater increases in earnings than men. Our findings suggest that the benefits of electrification do not accrue universally, but rather depend on gender roles, supporting policies and the labor absorptive capacity of the economy.

Keywords: rural electrification, labor market, gender, India, South Africa

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, South Africa

Year: 2018

Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence

Citation:

Motala, Shirin, Stewart Ngandu, and Aubrey Mpungose. 2016. “Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence.” Agenda 30 (4): 85-98.  

Authors: Shirin Motala, Stewart Ngandu, Aubrey Mpungose

Abstract:

Equitable access to land and other natural resources aimed at significant rural poverty reduction are at the forefront of ambitious goals entrenched in post-1994 land and agrarian policies. Among other targets, redistributive land policies promise that women should make up at least one-third of all land reform beneficiaries. After two decades of farmland redistribution, disputes persist as to whether these outcomes have been achieved.

This focus piece systematically reviews evidence from a micro-level study based on blended information gathering strategies in three provinces that vary in terms of their agrarian structures and agro-ecology. The study uniquely overlays farmland transfer data with provisioning of agricultural development support information.

The analysis embeds the gender equity-land reform puzzle in the traditional poverty-land reform nexus. Its main question explores the extent to which land and agrarian reform interventions have produced an altered livelihood dynamic for land reform beneficiaries and more importantly to measure how this has translated into gendered sustainable livelihood impacts at household level. The study draws on the sustainable livelihoods framework as the lens for making sense of gender inequalities in the countryside and the extent to which there has been equitable redress in the interests of rural women.

The findings summarise trends in respect of access, ownership and control of land assets and the related livelihood outcomes by gender. Evidence suggests that shrinking numbers of black farmers gain ownership of land and enjoy access to Government-financed support for on-farm production and participation in agricultural value chains beyond the farm gate. This finding is more pronounced for women farmers. More importantly, it points to important design features of such interventions which can and do impact on promoting sustainable livelihoods, particularly for female headed households.

Keywords: land and agrarian reform, gender, gender inequality, sustainable livelihoods, pro-poor development, farmland transfer, land ownership

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Land, Status and Security – A Burden Borne by Women

Citation:

Luwaya, Nolundi. 2018. “Land, Status and Security – A Burden Borne by Women.” Agenda 32 (4): 103-10.

Author: Nolundi Luwaya

Abstract:

Women in rural South Africa, living on communal land, struggle for recognition of both their land rights and claims to land across and within multiple spaces. The arenas within which these women wage their struggles are multidimensional; various dynamics, interests, and laws weave together to knit a particular tapestry. Women in rural communities experience extreme poverty and inadequate access to basic services, woven together with the legacies of colonial and apartheid era land legislation. It is a cruel irony that such extreme poverty is experienced in the former homelands where these high levels of poverty are sharpened by the existence of vast mineral wealth beneath the surface. This mineral wealth is frequently enjoyed by traditional elites who are often privileged to the disadvantage of the communities that they serve. The strands within this complex tapestry that I wish to unravel in this paper are centred around the historical legal construction of the status and land rights of black women and the implications thereof on current struggles. The construction of racist, patriarchal, historical narratives cannot be discussed without examining recent legislative responses dealing with communal land, in particular, by the post-apartheid state, and their effect on women. The Constitution’s promises of land reform and tenure security for people living on communal land must be fulfilled. This fulfilment must be sensitive to the particular challenges faced by women in these rural communities, women who have and continue to lay their bodies on the line for land.

Keywords: women's land rights, communal land, status, security of tenure, South Africa

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Land Reform and Changing Gender Patterns in Rural Farmland Ownership

Citation:

Hart, Tim GB, Margaret Chandia, and Peter T. Jacobs. 2018. “Land Reform and Changing Gender Patterns in Rural Farmland Ownership.” Agenda 32 (4): 111–20.

Authors: Tim GB Hart, Margaret Chandia, Peter T. Jacobs

Abstract:

The implementation of land reform in South Africa intends to bring about equity and equality but has encountered unanticipated or unplanned outcomes that have unforeseen effects for the various actors involved, particularly women. In this paper, we focus on the emerging patterns in gender ownership of farmland made available through the farmland redistribution programme. Analysing data from a mixed methods approach that used a household survey instrument and was followed up with individual and group interviews, we examine the outcomes and consequences of land redistribution with respect to the gender ownership of redistributed land. The findings provisionally indicate that the farmland redistribution programme has influenced ownership patterns that tend to include women into joint land ownership agreements alongside men in far greater numbers than women-only headed households. A review of policy interventions indicates that this joint-ownership outcome was never proposed. It has its own consequences with regard to de jure and de facto ownership of and access to farmland. Furthermore, it is in stark contrast to the policy idea of increasing redistributed land ownership exclusively for women in order to address gender imbalances within land ownership by black farmers. Despite differences across provinces, men as individual owners are the main beneficiaries of land redistribution. Women tend to enter into arrangements with men to acquire land so that they can meet the own-contribution requirements of the redistribution applications. In doing so they now have legal rights, as opposed to customary and common law rights, to this land. The effect of these changing land ownership relationships and patterns requires deeper research across these and other areas of South Africa especially with regard to gender ownership and gender livelihoods at household level.

Keywords: land distribution, gender of landowners, unplanned outcomes, household gender relations, South Africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Land, Violence and Womxn’s Bodies: An Overview of Implications of Land Reform and Customary Law on the Rights of Women in South Africa

Citation:

Songca, Rushiella. 2018. “Land, Violence and Womxn’s Bodies: An Overview of Implications of Land Reform and Customary Law on the Rights of Women in South Africa.” Agenda 32 (4): 3-9.

Author: Rushiella Songca

Abstract:

This focus on Land, Violence and Womxn’s bodies seeks to re-centre the debate on land as it relates to womxn’s bodies. It highlights the dynamics engendered by womxn’s struggles for land, it explores the interface between womxn’s rights and customary practices and demonstrates how womxn’s bodies, like land, have been shamed and celebrated. This issue commemorates (un)celebrated womxn who continue to fight for their rights to land. It incorporates themes on gender discrimination and land allocation, and it problematises the extent to which land reform and other interventions have attempted to address gender inequalities which relate to the rights of womxn to communal and commercial land.

Keywords: gender, inequality, land, communal land, land redistribution, womxn's bodies

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Cultural Practices and Women’s Land Rights in Africa: South Africa and Nigeria in Comparison

Citation:

Eniola, Bolanle, and Adeoye O. Akinola. 2019. “Cultural Practices and Women’s Land Rights in Africa: South Africa and Nigeria in Comparison.” In Trajectory of Land Reform in Post-Colonial African States. Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development, edited by Adeoye O. Akinola, and Henry Wissink, 109-123. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 

Authors: Bolanle Eniola, Adeoye O. Akinola

Abstract:

Over the years, Africa has been characterised by poverty, gender inequalities and socioeconomic underdevelopment. It was soon discovered that cultural and traditional belief system constitutes one of the drivers of gender inequality, which is reflected in the skewed land arrangement in the continent. This chapter examines women’s land rights (access and control) in Africa, focusing on the Nigeria and South Africa’s experience. It assesses African traditional practices and norms that limit women’s property rights and explores how gender inequalities in terms of land ownership and rights have jeopardized attempts at sustainable development in Africa. It notes that the continental challenges of land utility, food security and enduring development have a direct correlation with the denial of women’s right to land ownership and use. The chapter concludes by reiterating the urgent need to promote gender equality in the resource sector, this is an essential corollary for African survival and sustainable development. 

Keywords: cultural practices, gender inequalities, land rights, Nigeria, South Africa

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria, South Africa

Year: 2019

Evaluation of Access to Climate-Smart Technologies for Women Empowerment in Small-Holder Farming Sector in South Africa

Citation:

Mmbengwa, V. M., C. Nyambe, T. Madzivhandila, C. Kambanje, and K. Rambau. 2020. "Evaluation of Access to Climate-Smart Technologies for Women Empowerment in Small-Holder Farming Sector in South Africa." Gender & Behavior 18 (2): 15436-46.

Authors: V. M. Mmbengwa, C. Nyambe, T. Madzivhandila, C. Kambanje, K. Rambau

Abstract:

The study aimed to investigate the CSA technologies that could enhance women's empowerment in smallholder farming of South Africa. The study was carried out in two high profile agricultural provinces in South Africa (n=384) using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The simple randomized sampling design was used to select the respondents of the study. Qualitative data were collected through a combination of literature reviews, interviews, focus group workshops, and observations. The results revealed that five CSA technologies could be used to enhance the climate-smart agriculture for the women farmers in South Africa. The impact of the use of the CSA technologies was presented in the study. The study recommends that for women farmers to access CSA technologies, they should be supported by the government and private sector since the women farmers are from a fragile educational and financial background.

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2020

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