Gender blind, gender-lite : a critique of gender equity approaches in the South African Department of Education.

Abstract

Gender equity is one of the foundational principles of the national Department of Education, but there is not a shared understanding of its meaning. Based on interviews conducted in 2008 with officials in the Department of Education, the authors argue that there are two basic approaches to gender equity. The first, which they term \"gender blind\", equates equity with parity between the sexes, without recognizing the need for policy to deal with gender difference. The second, which they term \"gender-lite\", acknowledged some gender discrimination and the need to identify particular conditions of girls, but this often took essentialised forms that stopped short of addressing underlying power structures that disadvantaged girls and women. Drawing on Nancy Fraser's elaboration of justice, the authors argue that neither of these two approaches sufficiently addresses her dual demands for distribution and recognition.

Citation

Unterhalter, E.; Dieltiens, V.; Letsatsi, S.; North, A. Gender blind, gender-lite : a critique of gender equity approaches in the South African Department of Education. Perspectives in Education (2009) 27 (4) 365-374.

Gender blind, gender-lite : a critique of gender equity approaches in the South African Department of Education.

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