Discussant: Patrick Ahern, University of Dayton
2-3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, Room M2380

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Friday, November 3rd
12:00 AM

African Females: The Quest for “Sisterhood” and Equality in the Workplace

DIna Smit, University of Free State


12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Women have been marginalized in both developing and developed countries for ages, and evidence points to the fact that despite movements to ensure gender equality in all spheres of employment, women are still underrepresented in leadership positions in Africa, as a developing country and the USA, as a developed country. The best State, known for gender equality is New Mexico, where 46,1% of top management positions are held by females, but in 2021, throughout the rest of the USA, women still only hold 31,7% of top executive positions. The position in South Africa, is similar in that women, who represent 43,4 % of the total workforce, only make up 33% of managerial positions and only 10% of directorships at the Johannesburg Stock exchange, despite a very progressive constitution and legislation prohibiting unfair discrimination against women.

There is a common understanding that feminism has it roots in the West, but the quest for female equality and equal representation in especially higher positions within Africa and South Africa, is in want of a different strategy. This is what this paper aims to address. It has been found that one of the barriers to female equality in employment could be attributed to socio-cultural factors, such as the remnants of patriarchy and colonization. African feminism has been shaped by the role of females played in politics, more than characterized by the different feminist waves in the West, but with the same goal, being acknowledged as competent “sister- employees”.

This paper will explore the reasons for the under - representation of females in leadership or managerial positions in South Africa, Africa, and the USA and tender possible solutions to the problem whilst calling upon the sisters of Africa to rise to their African calling.

2:00 PM

The Intersectionality of Gender and Corruption in Africa

Qinyi Liu


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Corruption has long been recognized as a significant obstacle to good governance, the protection of human rights, and sustainable development in Africa. While the literature on anti-corruption has flourished in recent decades, there remains a critical gap in understanding the gendered nature and impact of corruption in the African context. This article aims to address this gap by examining the intersectionality of gender and corruption in Africa. It explores the extent to which corruption affects women and men differently, taking into account the social, economic, and political factors that shape these disparities. The article highlights that despite the region's commitment to combating corruption, as demonstrated by the African Union's adoption of the African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) in 2003, there is limited attention paid to the gender dimensions of corruption in policy and institutional frameworks. By examining the existing anti-corruption laws and institutions in African countries and considering the regional context of conflicts and the peacebuilding process, the article analyzes the effectiveness of current paradigms in addressing the gendered aspects of corruption. Moreover, it explores the specific forms of corruption that disproportionately affect women and examines the consequences for gender equality, socio-economic development, and political stability in the region.

Actionable Gender Mainstreaming: A Framework for Women’s Inclusion in Development Projects in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States

Susan Weaver


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Identified as "key enablers" of development by the 2015 UN Women led “Global Review” on implementation of UNSCR 1325, the World Bank is uniquely poised to support the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda due to its focus on women’s inclusion and needs by mainstreaming gender in development projects. Due to limited investigation on how Bank financing promotes UNSCR 1325, this paper works to untangle if and how projects in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) are gender mainstreamed (GM). By, analyzing Bank mainstreaming activity in project documentation of sixteen Sub-Saharan African countries from 1990-2014 via textual analysis and quantitative modeling, argues current frameworks for assessing GM activity fail to capture the whole of mainstreaming taking place. Thus, they are insufficient in adequately and accurately evaluating GM of development projects in FCAS. The framework of “Actionable Gender Mainstreaming” (AGM) sets a new threshold for implementing and evaluating GM in practice, focusing on identifying actionable items in project plans that produce tangible outcomes. Despite and institutional commitment to gender equality and women's inclusion, the data illustrates little difference in GM activity, taking place in less than a third of projects, and remaining relatively stagnant over the 25-year period in these conflict-affected states.

Exploring Gender Budgeting to Accelerate the Realisation of Women’s Rights in Nigeria

Eno Ekpo


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

The proliferation of gender budgeting initiatives globally has yielded a progressive understanding of the distributive impacts of responsive gender budgeting to ensure that both women and men benefit equally from public resources for inclusive development. The incorporation of providing resources in international human rights frameworks recognises the relevance of resources to drive development policies and programmes aimed at rectifying gender imbalances that disproportionately affect women and mandates the adoption of gender budgeting as a necessary step by states to translate their commitments to realising women’s rights at domestic levels. The Maputo Protocol, a pioneering African human rights instrument with extensive protections for women, engenders prospects for states to provide budgetary resources to realise women’s rights. South Africa exemplifies adopted gender budgeting initiatives that underscore women’s rights obligations and the state’s duty to fulfil through budgetary resource allocation.

Nigeria is yet to adopt gender budgeting as a means to meet its commitment of providing resources for women given the lack of country-specific gender budgeting initiative. There is a need to analyse Nigeria’s budgeting priorities to form the basis of potential gender budgeting initiatives. The paper aims to explore Nigeria’s national development strategy to determine gender budgeting adoption and considers whether adherence is likely to be mandatory (prescriptive) or voluntary (self-regulatory), thereby requiring a middle ground approach. It draws from African Feminist scholarship as a theoretical framework which suggests the interrelatedness between women’s rights realisation and resource allocation to redress women’s disadvantages as a holistic driver of gender equality and inclusion for sustainable development.

This paper concludes that fulfilling Nigeria’s obligation to women demands a contextualised gender budgeting initiative that translates state commitments into action through adopting a gender perspective in budgeting processes that meets the evolving challenges women grapple with in the country.

Sarah Bartman and Demystifying African Women History: Feminist Engagement and New Epistemologies from Africa

Babere Kerata Chacha, Lu


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

I was recently awarded a Sarah Bartman fellowhip by the University of Cape Town and in my inaugural lecture, I posed a critical question. How should we commemorate Sarah Bartmann legacy in history and culture in contemporary Africa? It is important to make our students to understand the history of sexism and oppression and the many barriers and biases that women have historically faced. Historical interpretation of, or representations of women as victims, projecting victimhood onto meta-historical narratives allows for imagining the trajectories of communities along a ‘zigzag’ historical timeline, wherein the present is portrayed as a juncture similar to fateful junctures in the past. The logic of historical victimhood, I argued, propagates a forked historical consciousness and seeks to monopolise how it is imagined in terms of a series of points in history wherein the trajectory of the community may take a wrong turn. In this paper I argue that women claims are primarily political claims for change in specific settings since it embraces women's ongoing quests for educational equity, economic opportunity, civil rights, and political inclusion. In this paper, I reexamine why African women history of should recapture the gendered critique of the meanings and capaciousness of fundamental concepts in political theory such as democracy, representation, nationality, and citizenship