Stellenbosch University | Political Science


The aim of the Chair in Gender Politics is to bring together researchers (post-graduate students) to work with the chair to build a core of multi-disciplinary research projects, and to build the canon of feminist political science literature in South Africa.

The Research Programme of the Chair in Gender Politics has three components:

  1. Women’s representation in government as well as the National Gender Machinery
  2. Women’s activism and mobilization – with a specific focus on women’s movements and activism
  3. Policy research related to gender justice – with a specific focus on family policy (social welfare), women’s health and reproductive health, gender based violence, and poverty

These different foci are important to give students options in relation to their own interests in the study of gender politics.

The Chairs’ own research projects are related to the Women’s Movement in South Africa as well as a new project on precarious life conditions of women created by globalization and neo-liberal capitalism. The theoretical framework for her work is informed by Nancy Fraser’s theory on recognition and redistribution.

The research goals of the proposed Chair are to:

  • Contribute towards a more holistic understanding of the relationship between formal equality, substantive equality and gender justice;
  • Generate and refine data through feminist methodological approaches that would lead to a richer understanding of gender justice;
  • To develop a body of multi-disciplinary gender research that would lead to a more holistic understanding of gender equality and citizenship in South Africa;
  • Train a new generation of students in feminist theory, epistemology and methods so as to avoid the pitfalls of technocratic gender research;
  • To build social science research capacity in the field of gender studies;
  • Explore existing and identify new opportunities for collaborative research with institutions in countries other than South Africa (for example the Research Network on Gender Politics and the State (RNGS))
  • Contribute towards integrating gender research in South Africa into the international body of gender scholarship