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ERIC Number: EJ892779
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Gender Blind, Gender-Lite: A Critique of Gender Equity Approaches in the South African Department of Education
Dieltiens, Veerle; Unterhalter, Elaine; Letsatsi, Setungoane; North, Amy
Perspectives in Education, v27 n4 p365-374 Dec 2009
Gender equity is one of the foundational principles of the national Department of Education, but there is not a shared understanding of its meaning. Based on interviews conducted in 2008 with officials in the Department of Education, we argue that there are two basic approaches to gender equity. The first, which we term "gender blind", equates equity with parity between the sexes, without recognizing the need for policy to deal with gender difference. The second, which we term "gender-lite", acknowledged some gender discrimination and the need to identify particular conditions of girls, but this often took essentialised forms that stopped short of addressing underlying power structures that disadvantaged girls and women. Drawing on Nancy Fraser's elaboration of justice, we argue that neither of these two approaches sufficiently addresses her dual demands for distribution and recognition.
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa. Fax: +27-51-401-7044; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa