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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender institutions in South Africa: new forms of politics
Author:Hassim, ShireenISNI
Periodical:L'Afrique politique
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:gender relations
political action
women's organizations
Abstract:The transition in South Africa has had profound impacts on the forms taken within women's politics, notably a shift in focus from an oppositional stance in relation to the State, to one of engagement with the State as the central locus for redress of gender inequalities. In the process, women's organizations - indeed civil society more generally - have been shifted to the margins of political debate. This article addresses the question of whether the State can in fact act as an effective agent for the transformation of gender relations in South Africa. It focuses on the establishment of a new set of institutions within and around the State, collectively referred to as the national machinery for women. This new set of institutional arrangements is multipronged, including a coordinated set of structures within government dedicated to gender policy issues, a statutory Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and a mechanism for women within the legislature. The establishment of these institutions has opened up a new set of battles for women, both within the State and between women and the State. The author stresses the importance for the State of building strong relationships with women's organizations, crucial links if relevant, sustainable, gender-sensitive policies are to be developed. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French (p. 10).