Gender Questions <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p><em>Gender Questions</em> is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed research journal that publishes high quality articles on all aspects of gender studies, including feminist research, masculinity studies and studies into alternative sexualities. <em>Gender Questions </em>seeks to contribute to South African knowledge production about gender by providing a forum for serious scholarship and rigorous theoretical engagement with Gender Studies.</p> en-US (Jessica Murray) (Mohamed Motala) Fri, 01 Dec 2023 09:16:35 +0000 OJS 60 Gender-based Violence in Rural South Africa: Introducing the AmaZizi Chiefdom of Eastern Cape <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This research surveys the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) and its relationship to gendered roles and gendered expectations in the rural AmaZizi chiefdom in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The authors used community-based participatory research, mixing quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative data were gathered via questionnaires distributed to 300 households in collaboration with a local research team, trained on the specifics of this project and study procedures. Data were supplemented with information collected from five focus groups and 40 additional one-on-one interviews. Based on this research, the authors uncovered a traditional patriarchal system in the chiefdom that not only gives men control over the lives and sexuality of women in the region, but is also used to justify the violence. This shows that future efforts to combat GBV in the chiefdom should address the authoritarian definition of masculinity that currently frames the gender roles and expectations in the region. </span></p> Nanette De Jong, Alungile Jongimpahla Twayise, Anelisiwe Jijingubo, Phinda Tshefu, Aqualine Suliali Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 “They Concern Themselves Most with It”: Women, Family, and Alcohol Retail in Early Modern Cape Town <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article explores women’s role in the alcohol trade in Cape Town between 1680 and 1795, particularly their use of social and symbolic capital against the background of their male counterparts’ activities. While these women are conspicuous due to their direct involvement in the alcohol trade, they, too, did so within a context of spousal cooperation and family involvement. Several men entered the trade because of marriage into an alcohol retail family, while in many cases, wives were heavily involved in their husbands’ entrepreneurial activities. Some families were involved in this trade over several generations, mostly through the female line. This paper demonstrates that the greater social and economic freedom accorded women in the Dutch Republic during this period also occurred in the colonial space, including Cape Town. </span></p> Gerald Groenewald Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Imagining Fatherhood through the Parenting Experiences of University Students from Poor Economic Backgrounds in South Africa <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">While “fatherhood roles” are generally assumed to be formed along socialised masculine identities, analyses of how such socialised masculine identities are sensitive to economic realities around the people through which the identities are formulated, are hardly presented within the South African literature on gender. This article addresses this research gap by analysing how 10 purposefully selected young university students studying at the University of Venda in South Africa interpret their parental roles amid economic challenges at the university. A qualitative research methodology was followed in the collection and analysis of the data. Drawing on several semi-structured interviews with the students, the article argues that even though traditional cultural norms may form the basis for the initial perception of fatherhood, socioeconomic situations additionally provide an unpleasant but suitable background through which young people formulate a broader definition of masculinity. Economic challenges can be a catalyst for self-reflection and reassessment of family social priorities. As the study found, it provides the basis for young men to question societal expectations of masculinity, become more open and flexible to parental responsibilities that involve emotional support and nurturing to their children, and participate in domestic activities. </span></p> Ekene Amaechi, Tshivhase Vhuhwavho, Daniel Tsoaledi Thobejane Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Strategic Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships as a Tool for Achieving SDG 5 on Gender Equality in South Africa <p>South Africa faces several socioeconomic issues—gender inequality being one of them. This issue cannot be addressed by government alone and requires the involvement of other stakeholders. This study provides valuable insights into existing multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) in South Africa aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5.5 (gender equality through support for women in leadership). The aim of this qualitative research study was threefold. Firstly, it investigated the focus areas of existing strategic MSPs driving the achievement of SDG 5.5. Secondly, it aimed to understand the collaborative approaches within these partnerships. Finally, it determined how existing relationships could be improved. This was a generic qualitative study. Twelve professionals (from 12 organisations) participated in the semi-structured interviews. The findings were analysed using thematic analysis. Several findings came to the fore—one of which related to the involvement of men as a key driver of gender equality in South Africa.</p> Olebogeng Selebi, Karen Landsberg, Mamosa Makaya Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Barriers to Recruitment of Women to South African Mining Boards <p>Mining as a historically male-dominated industry in South Africa has legacy issues stemming from colonisation and apartheid, which contributed to gender (and racial) disparities. To address these disparities, corrective measures in the post-apartheid legislation and government policies have aimed to promote equal participation of women in the mining industry at all levels, including key leadership positions such as board memberships. However, despite two decades of enforced legislation, the representation of women in boardrooms remains below 22%. To better understand this issue, qualitative research was conducted through interviews with 28 directors in the South African mining industry. These interviews delved into the recruitment process and the criteria used for selecting directors within the industry. Nkomo and Ngambi’s meso-level framework guided the identification and classification of barriers reported in the literature on obstacles impeding women’s appointment to boards at individual/psychological, organisational/structural, and social/societal levels. Thematic analysis showed the prevalence of organisational and structural prejudices and barriers in the recruitment process and criteria. The male-dominated nomination committees drive recruitment by selecting acquaintances from their own networks whom they overpower in decision-making. This network reinforces the old boys’ club and glass ceilings, contributing to the lower confidence of women. This research recommends organisational structural policy-level changes to accelerate female board recruitment by imposing at least 40% female board representation. A balanced gender role combination of chief executive officer and chairman positions on each board is likely to break barriers associated with the male-dominated boardroom culture and practices.</p> Nthabiseng Moraka Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The Potential for Social Protection in Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Empowering Women Farmers in Namibia <p>Agriculture is the highest employment sector in Namibia, yet evidence of social protection measures specifically for those involved in farming in Namibia is lacking despite recurring drought events that affect more women than men. Existing studies with a focus on gender participation and social protection in agriculture do not focus on Namibia. Further, extant research also underlines the importance of collecting data beyond time-use surveys with heads of household and rather asking women farmers specific questions about their needs to help tailor policy measures accordingly, hence a qualitative methodology is employed. The article focuses on the role and challenges of obtaining social assistance or agriculture insurance for women to encourage agricultural production. Twenty-one (21) women farmers interviewed assert that the role of social protection as insurance protection is to cover for any losses in farming. However, many participants perceive social farming protection to be unaffordable due to poor access to markets and subsequently low income from farming or were unaware of its availability. Furthermore, many participants do not own the land they farm as it is either leased or inherited from elders by men and therefore they are not encouraged to take out social protection for farming. The article recommends providing accessible information on the availability of agricultural insurance and how women could access it, but also ensuring that issues such as access to land and markets are dealt with. Lastly, the involvement in high value agricultural value chains is encouraged for better income prospects and to possibly make insurance more affordable. </p> Elina M. Amadhila Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Housemaid-Madam Relations in Black Households: Imagining Woman-to-Woman Exploitation in Two Zimbabwean Short Stories <p>Domestic work is, in most cultures of the world, still considered to be the preserve of women. This is the case especially in the conservative patriarchal cultures in Zimbabwe where most maids in black households are still women. I analyse two short stories written by Zimbabwean writers, Julius Chingono’s “Maria’s Interview” and Petina Gappah’s “The Maid from Lalapanzi,” to explore the precarity of housemaids in black households. The madams are presented as having the financial wherewithal to hire maids, while housemaids are uneducated, poor and unmarried women and girls. Housemaids’ roles at their workplaces are depicted as ambiguous. They do the essential house chores yet are treated differently on account of being maids. From this ambiguity, the texts allow the reader to discern the maid’s exploitation epitomised by poor remuneration and general ill-treatment by the madams. In this article, I am interested in how Chingono and Gappah draw the reader’s attention to the many ways in which the relationship between madam and maid is an exemplar of black woman-to-woman exploitation.</p> Tendai Mangena Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 An Embodied Feminist Poethics of Improper Speech in Atwood’s Alias Grace and Christiansë’s Unconfessed <p>In this paper, I argue that the cross-fertilising entanglements of narrative/literature, theory, and embodiment that constitute Margaret E. Toye’s concept of “narrative as embodied theory” in “Towards a Poethics of Love: Poststructuralist Feminist Ethics and Literary Creation” are especially appropriate to revisionary historical fiction written by women in which silenced histories of trauma are recovered and given voice. I refer to examples from Margaret Atwood’s <em>Alias Grace</em> (1998) and Yvette Christiansë’s <em>Unconfessed</em> (2006) as illustrations of what I term “an embodied feminist poethics of improper speech,” a theoretical and methodological reconfiguration of Toye’s terms.</p> Jeanne Ellis Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 “Kudliwa imali, kudliwe umuntu”: In-school Adolescent Girls’ Experiences of Umqasho and Transactional Sex in a Rural Sub-District of Northern KwaZulu-Natal <p>This study examined the intersecting impact of structural inequalities and transactional sex on in-school adolescent girls’ risk of pregnancy and poor educational outcomes in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal. In this article, we understand structural inequalities as providing a basis for transactional relationships between adolescent girls and older men. Participatory visual research methods were employed with 18- and 19-year-old girls and boys to examine multiple systems of oppression and inequalities experienced by in-school rural adolescent girls, focusing particularly on their vulnerability to transactional sex, pregnancy and poor educational outcomes. In this context, moralising discourses on transactional sexual relationships are unhelpful if structural barriers placing girls at risk are not addressed. </p> Nompumelelo Gloria Mfeka-Nkabinde, Relebohile Moletsane, Anna Silvia Voce Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Female Fear Factory, by Pumla Dineo Gqola Naomi Nkealah Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000