Uneasy relations Women, gender equality and tradition

Thesis Eleven 115 (1):77-94 (2013)

This article addresses the tensions between the struggle for gender equality and the struggle for cultural rights in the particular form championed by traditionalists within the ANC after 1994. While both sets of rights are recognized in the 1996 Constitution, the right to equality takes precedence. Nevertheless, a ‘turn to tradition’ within the ANC has seen the consolidation of patriarchal traditional institutions in the communal areas. These developments reflect the predominance of very thin understandings of both gender equality and culture within the organization. They have, however, been challenged by activists, with the principle of gender equality proving to be a significant impediment to the traditionalist agenda. The manner in which these dynamics have unfolded places gender at the centre of struggles over the meaning and practice of equality and democracy in post-apartheid South Africa
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DOI 10.1177/0725513612470535
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