Journals tackle universities' role in gender politics

18 April 2008 | Story by Megan Morris

Teresa Barnes and Jane Bennett
Culture issues: Editor Teresa Barnes and AGI's Prof Jane Bennett with the latest issues of Feminist Africa

The writers and researchers who feature in issues 8 and 9 of Feminist Africa are optimistic but not always flattering about gender politics at African universities.

Subtitled Rethinking Universities, these latest editions of the African Gender Institute's (AGI) accredited journal spring from the AGI's recent Gender and Institutional Culture project. Both are dedicated to the issues of gender and institutional cultures at a number of leading universities in Africa.


The articles cover everything from sexual harassment policies to the alienation among women academics, but institutional culture is always the lightning rod.

There is much to be optimistic about, write editors Teresa Barnes of the University of the Western Cape and the AGI's Professor Amina Mama. For one, no women have formally been excluded from postcolonial African universities. But, they add, "there are persistent institutional inequalities which reflect a lack of commitment to gender issues and taking women seriously in the intellectual sphere".

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