South Africa

Solar Cookers: A Potential Mechanism for Challenging Gender Stereotypes


Green, Maryann. 2002. “Solar Cookers: A Potential Mechanism for Challenging Gender Stereotypes.” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 17 (52): 62–7.

Author: Maryann Green


Maryann Green writes that the introduction of solar cookers has the potential to challenge gender relations in the home. However, using a case study in KwaZulu-Natal, she argues that the approach adopted when introducing the ovens is critical to avoid entrenching gender stereotypes.


“The approach to gender and energy discussed in this study stems from a number of renewable energy projects conducted in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal. The observations are based on studies relating to rural households and community level projects that encompass: assessing traditional energy sources, in interaction with households and environments; assessing thermal solar and electricity impacts on women's activity patterns; and investigating aspects such as financial capacities, feasibility, impacts on development, adoption of technology patterns; and consumer perceptions of energy technologies. The information is obtained predominantly from de facto female heads of households, as they dominate in energy sourcing and usage” (Green 2002, 62).

Topics: Gender, Women, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2002

Women, Gender Equality, and Post-Conflict Transformation: Lessons Learned, Implications for the Future


Kaufman, Joyce P., and Kristen P. Williams, eds. 2019. Women, Gender Equality, and Post-Conflict Transformation: Lessons Learned, Implications for the Future. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Joyce P. Kaufman, Kristen P. Williams


The end of formal hostilities in any given conflict provides an opportunity to transform society in order to secure a stable peace. This book builds on the existing feminist international relations literature as well as lessons of past cases that reinforce the importance of including women in the post-conflict transition process, and are important to our general understanding of gender relations in the conflict and post-conflict periods. Post-conflict transformation processes, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs, transitional justice mechanisms, reconciliation measures, and legal and political reforms, which emerge after the formal hostilities end demonstrate that war and peace impact, and are impacted by, women and men differently. By drawing on a strong theoretical framework and a number of cases, this volume provides important insight into questions pertaining to the end of conflict and the challenges inherent in the post-conflict transition period that are relevant to students and practitioners alike. (Summary from Routledge)
Table of Contents:
1. Women Living in a Gendered World
Laura Sjoberg
2. The Aftermath of War: Considering Gender in the Process of Disarmament, Demilitarization and Reintegration
Fionnuala Ni Aolain
3. Imagined Peace, Gender Relations and Post-Conflict Transformation: Anti-Colonial and Post-Cold War Conflicts
Jane L. Parpart
4. The Gender Politics of Negotiating and Renegotiating the Peace in Northern Ireland
Fidelma Ashe and Carmel Roulston
5. Bosnia, Women, and Gender in a Post-Dayton World
Kristen P. Williams
6. Perpetuating a Gendered Peace? Exploring Gender Mainstreaming in Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) in Liberia
Helen S. A. Basini
7. Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration and the Poetics of Slavery in Sierra Leone
Megan H. MacKenzie
8. Women, Apartheid and the TRC: The Impact of Apartheid on Women in South Africa, Plus 20 Years
Joyrce P. Kaufman
9. Engendering Peace: Divergent Post-Conflict Processes for Women in Guatemala and El Salvador
Kara Ellerby
10. Conclusions
Joyce P. Kaufman and Kristen P. Williams

Topics: DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Race, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Still in the Shadows: Women and Gender Relations in the Electricity Sector in South Africa


Annecke, Wendy. 2009. “Still in the Shadows: Women and Gender Relations in the Electricity Sector in South Africa.” In Electric Capitalism: Recolonising Africa on the Power Grid, edited by David McDonald, 288–320. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.

Author: Wendy Annecke


“The use of a reticulated electricity system to light up 16 street lights and a few public buildings in Kimberley in 1872 provides the entry point for this study of gender relations in South Africa. In this chapter I posit the difference between electricity as a current of moving electrons and electrification as a technology embedded in social processes—including that of relations between men and women” (Annecke 2012, 288).

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2009

Intersections of Gender and Water: Comparative Approaches to Everyday Gendered Negotiations of Water Access in Underserved Areas of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa


Harris, L., D. Kleiber, J. Goldin, A. Darkwah, and C. Morinville. 2016. "Intersections of Gender and Water: Comparative Approaches to Everyday Gendered Negotiations of Water Access in Underserved Areas of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa." Journal of Gender Studies 26 (5): 561-82.

Authors: L. Harris, D. Kleiber, J. Goldin, A. Darkwah, C. Morinville


A large and growing body of literature suggests that women and men often have differentiated relationships to water access, uses, knowledges, governance, and experiences. From a feminist political ecology perspective, these relationships can be mediated by gendered labour practices (within the household, at the community level, or within the workplace), socio-cultural expectations (e.g. related to notions of masculinity and femininity), as well as intersectional differences (e.g. race, income, and so forth). While these relationships are complex, multiple, and vary by context, it is frequently argued that due to responsibility for domestic provision or other pathways, women may be particularly affected if water quality or access is compromised. This paper reports on a statistical evaluation of a 478 household survey conducted in underserved areas of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa in early 2012. Interrogating our survey results in the light of the ideas of gender differentiated access, uses, knowledges, governance, and experiences of water, we open up considerations related to the context of each of our study sites, and also invite possible revisions and new directions for these debates. In particular, we are interested in the instances where differences among male and female respondents were less pronounced than expected. Highlighting these unexpected results we find it helpful to draw attention to methods – in particular we argue that a binary male–female approach is not that meaningful for the analysis, and instead, gender analysis requires some attention to intersectional differences (e.g. homeownership, employment, or age). We also make the case for the importance of combining qualitative and quantitative work to understand these relationships, as well as opening up what might be learned by more adequately exploring the resonances and tensions between these approaches.

Keywords: Ghana, South Africa, gender, water, methods, triangulation, intersectionality

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Analysis, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, South Africa

Year: 2016

Engendering Care: HIV, Humanitarian Assistance in Africa and the Reproduction of Gender Stereotypes


Mindry, Deborah. 2010. "Engendering Care: HIV, Humanitarian Assistance in Africa and the Reproduction of Gender Stereotypes." Culture, Health & Sexuality 12 (5): 555-68.


Author: Deborah Mindry


This paper draws upon recent research in Durban, South Africa to unravel the complexities of care ethics in the context of humanitarian aid. It investigates how the gendering of care shapes the provision of aid in the context of the HIV in Africa constructing an image of ‘virile’ and ‘violent’ African masculinity. Humanitarian organisations construct imagined relations of caring, invoking notions of a shared humanity as informing the imperative to facilitate change. This paper draws on varied examples of research and NGO activity to illustrate how these relations of care are strongly gendered. Humanitarian interventions that invoke universalising conceptions of need could instead draw on feminist care ethics that seeks to balance rights, justice and care in ways that attend to the webs of relationships through which specific lived realities are shaped. Essentialising feminised discourses on care result in a skewed analysis of international crises that invariably construct women (and children) as victims in need of care, which at best ignore the lived experiences of men and, at worst, cast men as virile and violent vectors of disease and social disorder.
Cet article s'inspire d'une récente recherche à Durban, en Afrique du Sud, pour révéler les complexités de l'éthique des soins dans le contexte de l'aide humanitaire. Il examine la manière dont l'intégration des notions de genre aux soins détermine l'approvisionnement en aide dans le contexte du VIH en Afrique, en conceptualisant une image de la masculinité africaine «virile» et «violente». Les organisations humanitaires conceptualisent des relations imaginées du soin, basées sur des notions d'humanité solidaire qui informent l'impératif de la facilitation du changement. Cet article s'inspire d'exemples variés de recherche et d'activité des ONG pour illustrer l'intensité avec laquelle ces relations de soins sont basées sur le genre. Les interventions humanitaires qui invoquent l'universalisation des conceptions des besoins devraient plutôt s'inspirer de l'éthique féministe des soins, qui cherche à équilibrer les droits, la justice et les soins de manière à assister les réseaux des relations à travers lesquelles les réalités spécifiques vécues sont définies. L'essentialisation des discours féminisés sur les soins a pour résultat une analyse faussée des crises internationales qui, de manière invariable, conceptualisent les femmes (et les enfants) comme des victimes nécessitant des soins et, au mieux, ignorent les expériences vécues des hommes; au pire, représentent ces derniers comme des vecteurs virils et violents de la maladie et du désordre social.
Este artículo se basa en los recientes estudios en Durban, Sudáfrica, que revelan las complejidades de la ética asistencial en el contexto de la ayuda humanitaria. Analizamos cómo la cuestión del género en la asistencia determina la concesión de ayudas en el contexto del VIH en África construyendo una imagen de masculinidad africana ‘viril’ y ‘violenta. Las organizaciones humanitarias construyen relaciones imaginarias de asistencia invocando nociones de una humanidad compartida que hace imperativo facilitar cambios. En este artículo presentamos varios ejemplos de investigaciones y de las actividades de las ONG para ilustrar cómo estas relaciones de asistencia vienen determinadas en gran medida por el sexo. Las intervenciones humanitarias que invocan conceptos universales de necesidad podrían basarse mejor en la ética de asistencia feminista que intenta equilibrar los derechos, la justicia y la asistencia prestando atención a las redes de relaciones que forman las realidades específicas vividas. Los discursos feministas que esencializan la atención llevan a un análisis sesgado de las crisis internacionales que invariablemente caracteriza a las mujeres (y niños) como víctimas que necesitan cuidados y, en el mejor de los casos, ignora las experiencias vividas por los hombres y, en el peor, representa a los hombres como vectores viriles y violentos de trastornos sociales y enfermedades.

Keywords: gender, Africa, masculinity, HIV/AIDS, humanitarian aid

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, HIV/AIDS, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2010

Towards a Gender Sensitive Vulnerability Assessment for Climate Change: Lambani, Limpopo Province, South Africa


Goldin, Jacqueline, Cobus Botha, Thabiso Koatla, Kobus Anderson, Germaine Owen, and Ally Lebese. 2019. "Towards a Gender Sensitive Vulnerability Assessment for Climate Change: Lambani, Limpopo Province, South Africa." Human Geography 12 (1): 19-32.

Authors: Jacqueline Goldin, Cobus Botha, Thabiso Koatla, Kobus Anderson, Germaine Owen, Ally Lebese


Women's limited access to resources and decision-making processes increases their vulnerability to impacts of climate change. Despite their own vulnerability, women are often responsible for caring for close relatives, extended families and friends during hazardous and traumatic events (whether its famine, floods, drought or forced displacements). Based on experience and knowledge it is believed that women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men, primarily as they constitute the majority of the world's poor and are more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change. The paper proposes a gender sensitive vulnerable assessment framework that is scaffolded by three key concepts: exposure, temporality and resource base. Because the study is grounded in the Capability Approach Framework it captures multi-dimensionality and intangible goods which are emotions such as fear, anger, shock or shame. It seeks to better understand the differentiated responses of men and women to climate variations and stress such as extreme heat, cold, droughts or floods in a specific site, Lambani, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The main aim is to understand different responses of men and women to climate change in order to design and populate a vulnerability assessment (VA) framework. In order to do so the Capability Approach (CA) is applied as a theoretical frame with its lens on diversity and social justice. The CA thus provides an expanded notion of human well-being that taps into the emotional life of women and men in Lambani.

El acceso limitado de las mujeres a los recursos y los procesos de toma de decisiones aumenta su vulnerabilidad a los impactos del cambio climático. A pesar de su propia vulnerabilidad, las mujeres a menudo son responsables de cuidar a sus familiares cercanos, familiares extendidos y amigos durante eventos traumáticos y peligrosos (ya sea hambre, inundaciones, sequías o desplazamientos forzosos). Sobre la base de la experiencia y el conocimiento, se cree que las mujeres son más vulnerables a los efectos del cambio climático que los hombres, principalmente porque constituyen la mayoría de las personas pobres del mundo y son más dependientes para su subsistencia en los recursos naturales que están amenazados por el cambio climático. El documento propone un marco de evaluación vulnerable sensible al género que está estructurado por tres conceptos clave: exposición, temporalidad y base de recursos. Debido a que el estudio se basa en el marco de enfoque de capacidades, captura elementos multidimensionales e intangibles que son emociones como el miedo, la ira, el shock o la vergüenza. Busca comprender mejor las respuestas diferenciadas de hombres y mujeres a las variaciones climáticas y al estrés como el calor extremo, el frío, las sequías o las inundaciones en un sitio específico, Lambani, en la provincia de Limpopo, Sudáfrica. El objetivo principal es comprender las diferentes respuestas de hombres y mujeres al cambio climático para diseñar y poblar un marco de evaluación de vulnerabilidad (AV). Para ello, el enfoque de capacidades (CA por sus cifras en inglés) se aplica como un marco teórico con su lente sobre la diversidad y la justicia social. El CA proporciona así una noción ampliada de bienestar humano que se nutre de la vida emocional de las mujeres y los hombres en Lambani.

Keywords: climate change, Capability Approach, emotions, gender, Limpopo Province, resilience, vulnerability, social justice

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

Ecofeminism in a World of BRICS: Opportunities and Challenges


Dellios, Rosita, Arundhati Bhattacharyya, and Cindy Minarova-Banjac. 2019. “Ecofeminism in a World of BRICS: Opportunities and Challenges.” Culture Mandala 13 (2): 1-18.

Authors: Rosita Dellios, Arundhati Bhattacharyya, Cindy Minarova-Banjac


While feminism and environmentalism have long and illustrious histories in the annals of social movements, together they are less well recognised or understood beyond the academic community. Far from being an eclectic intersection of interests between women and the environment, ‘ecofeminism’ holds a wider significance for integrative sustainable development in the coming decades. This is especially so when viewed from the Global South and its ‘rising powers’, three of which – China, India and Brazil – form case studies in this article. Will the developing world, in the course of its development and especially under China’s influence, advance or squander the opportunity for an ecofeminist contribution to a better world order? Policy implications derived from this study call for a cross-sector approach that includes culture and religion. These challenge the limitations of binary thinking and promote interconnectedness.

Keywords: ecofeminism, sustainable development, culture, global south, BRICS

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Europe Countries: Brazil, China, India, Russian Federation, South Africa

Year: 2019

Women's Participation in Green Growth - A Potential Fully Realised?


Von Hagen, Markéta, and Johanna Willems. 2012. "Women's Participation in Green Growth - A Potential Fully Realised?" Donor Committee for Enterprise Development.

Authors: Markéta von Hagen, Johanna Willems


The purpose of the study is threefold: (1) to shed more light on the gender dimension of green growth, especially in the context of private sector development and thereby fill an important knowledge gap in the green growth discourse; (2) to validate women’s contributions to green growth and sustainable private sector development; and (3) ultimately to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality. The overall approach of the study combines three intersecting perspectives, which are dealt with independently as well as in tandem: a gender perspective with a focus on the (potential) participation of women, a greening perspective and a private sector development perspective. The study contains case studies from Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam. (Summary from Green Growth Knowledge Platform)
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Factors Influencing Women's Participation in Green Growth
3. Making Women's Participation in Green Growth a Reality: Two Value Chain Examples
4. Assessment of Potentials, Risks and Relevant Approaches for Women's Participation in the Green Economy
5. Recommendations

Topics: Development, Economies, Ecological Economics, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam

Year: 2012

Past Wrongs and Gender Rights: Issues and Conflicts in South Africa's Land Reform


Jacobs, Susie. 1998. "Past Wrongs and Gender Rights: Issues and Conflicts in South Africa's Land Reform." European Journal of Development Research 10 (2): 70-87.

Author: Susie Jacobs


South Africa's agrarian situation presents a range of daunting issues, including extreme rural poverty & a government hindered by severe financial constraints. At the same time, the country's attempts to incorporate gender issues into land reform are virtually unique. Discussed here are several major issues confronting the present pilot programs operating in 9 provinces & any future reform: demand for land; demand for services; the issue of "the household"; traditional authorities; forms of land tenure; & the nature of public participation. It is stressed that all of these are gender issues, as is the extent of conflict raised through overt discussion of gender processes. None of these questions has a straightforward answer, but their consideration is likely to raise additional questions.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Analysis, Land Tenure, Households, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

Economic Rationality or Social Justice? Gender, the National Qualifications Framework and Educational Reform in South Africa, 1989-1996


Unterhalter, Elaine. 1998. "Economic Rationality or Social Justice? Gender, the National Qualifications Framework and Educational Reform in South Africa, 1989-1996." Cambridge Journal of Education 28 (3): 351-68.

Author: Elaine Unterhalter


This article examines the ways in which gender redress has been conceptualised in different phases of the policy development work on the National Qualifications Framework, a key initiative of education reform in South Africa. It identifies two discursive framings for the NQF--the discourse of economic rationalisation, utilised by business and COSATU, and that of social justice, utilised by the ANC and COSATU. It concludes that neither, for different reasons, have grappled with gendered social relations or the gendered, but dispersed, power of the state. The paper points out that the existence of a widespread women's organisation in South Africa during the transition period had little impact on policy formulation in education and training, thus raising questions about ways in which women's demands can have an impact on education policy change.

Topics: Development, Economies, Education, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998


© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - South Africa