Shireen Hassim, Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and STIAS fellow will present a talk with the title:
“We are here to claim our rights”
A historical perspective on concepts of gender equality in South African politics
The concept of equality has been the centrepiece of many political movements in South Africa, not least the women’s movements. What is precisely meant by equality, though, and even whether there is a stable referent for gender rights, is a matter of considerable contestation. This lecture addresses the debates by examining how equality was understood in two key collective documents in history: the Women’s Charter of 1954 and the Women’s Charter for Effective Equality in 1996. It proceeds to consider the implications of contemporary demands for decolonisation on the value of rights discourses in South Africa.
Shireen Hassim is Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has published widely in the field of gender and politics, and her most recent book The ANC Women’s League: Sex, Gender and Politics was published by Jacana in 2014. She is currently a Fellow at STIAS, working on a project on institutions and contingency in projects of gender equality.