Gender mainstreaming in a South African provincial education department: a transformative shift or technical fix for oppressive gender relations?

Abstract

Although some gender activists and analysts question the efficacy of gender mainstreaming to take forward women's demands, the South African government has pursued the strategy within a number of government departments including the Department of Education. This article explores how the strategy is being implemented in one provincial education department. Using data generated in 2008-9 through case study methods that employed aspects of an ethnographic approach, a key finding was that both the social justice aspiration and the technical interventions associated with the policy are considerably hampered by lack of resources and a clear policy framework. Many charged with implementing gender mainstreaming draw on memories of activism and international policy declarations give promise of a possibility of a transformative fix, although the absence of resources to secure this remain a matter for concern.

Citation

Karlsson, J. Gender mainstreaming in a South African provincial education department: a transformative shift or technical fix for oppressive gender relations? Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (2010) 40 (4) 497-514. [DOI: 1080/03057925.2010.490374]

Gender mainstreaming in a South African provincial education department: a transformative shift or technical fix for oppressive gender relations?

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