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Back | Programme Area: Gender and Development, Special Events

AGI/UNRISD Policy Dialogue- Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World

Date: 7 - 8 Feb 2006

  • Time:
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Donor(s): This activity has been funded by the Department for Research Co-operation of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida/SAREC), the European Union, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Ottawa, Canada) and the government of the Netherlands
  • Project Title: Policy Report on Gender and Development: 10 Years after Beijing


As an institute deeply committed to strengthening the synergy between intellectual work and political activism, the African Gender Institute (AGI) came together with United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) to organize a conference in Cape Town that brought together the continental community of researchers, policy makers and practitioners/activists for the presentation of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) report, “Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World". For both AGI and UNRISD, the workshop created a significant opportunity for stimulating a new level of critical dialogue on the strategies and challenges facing those working across structural and intellectual boundaries to pursue struggles for gender equality.

Day One 7 February 2006

9.00 Welcoming Remarks, Introduction and Objectives
Thandika Mkandawire and Amina Mama

9.30 Session One: Political Experiences: Challenges and Lessons
Critical reflections on what women have learned from their accumulated experience of participation in politics - how can the accumulated experience and numerical gains be built upon to advance gender equality?
Facilitator: Amanda Gouws
Discussants: Thoko Rudzvidzo (tbc), Shireen Hassim, Tandeka Nkiwane

11.30 Session Two: Global and Local Economies and Livelihoods
Critically reviews the impact of neoliberal economic doctrines on social and economic development and the prospects for advancing gender equality in the context of worsening global inequality.
Facilitator: Shahra Razavi
Discussants: Dzodzi Tsikata, Pat Horn, Zo Randriamaro, Cherryl Walker

14:30 Session Three: Gender, Conflict and Militarism
Examines the political and economic context of militarism and conflict in Africa, gender analyzing the conditions sustaining militarism and generating conflict, and the civil society responses to these.
Facilitator: Pregs Govender,
Discussants: Thelma Ekiyor, Shirley Gunn


17.30-19.30 Evening Launch Event

Centre for African Studies Gallery, University of Cape Town

Host: Ambassador Nozipho January-Bardill, Director South African Foreign Service Institute, Pretoria, Chair of the AGI’s Advisory Board

Speakers and Guests of Honour:
Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Chairperson of Circle Capital Ventures
Her Excellency Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the South African Parliament

Day Two 8 February 2006

9.30 Session Four: Democratization, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS
Reviews the manner in which democratization processes and the realities of citizenship are mediated by heteronormative sexual cultures that work to sustain gender inequality, and undermine strategies that seek to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Facilitator: Elaine Salo
Discussants: Jane Bennett, Chi-Chi Undi, Charmaine Pereira, Nokhwezi Hoboyi

11.30 Session Five: Law and Culture
Examines the tension between rights and culture, and the cultural constraints on the efficacy of legal reform in African contexts.
Facilitator: Thandabantu Nhlapo
Discussants: Takyiwaa Manuh, Sylvia Tamale, Gertrude Fester

14:30 Session Six: Contemporary Women’s Movement Strategies
Examines examples in which women’s movements have successfully engaged with international, government and political organizations in particular national political/policy contexts, with a view to highlighting the strategic importance of women’s movements in African contexts
Facilitator: Rhoda Reddock
Discussants: Hope Chigudu, Everjoice Win, Muthoni Wanyeki

16.30 Strategic Implications and Discussion
Chair: Amina Mama
Summing Up: Zene Tadesse