African political theory, African renaissance and the conciliation of the politics of gender difference.
Throughout history, we have read about how women are marginalized and disadvantaged, despite their significant contributions, women continue to face formidable social, economic and political barriers. However, it is without a doubt that there is a growing acceptance and recognition of the important role women play in the development, hence, the need for gender inclusive developmental states [development that is structured in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of sex, social gender & identity, and does not perpetuate gender stereotypes]. This is primarily because gender inequalities are deeply entrenched in most societies, and a multiplicity of practices and institutions exist, which contribute to the perpetuation of the status quo. Therefore, this Research Report is ` explore the relevance of the African Renaissance in the contemporary African political economy context, and with a specific focus on the gender blindness of the original conceptualisation of the African Renaissance. In arguing the case for the relevance of the African Renaissance in the modern world, the Report draws on an extension of a hypothesis by Mamdani (1995) that the African Renaissance needs to revise its role by addressing the question of gender difference posed by globalisation. This Research Report is of the belief that a new African Renaissance should play a role in transforming gender relations and eliminating sexism in all its forms, whether benign or malignant. Put differently, as long as the oppression of women continues to be tolerated within the black lifeworld (however broadly conceived), the liberation of black people will never be complete.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Political Studies in the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022