The starting point for the design of our postgraduate programmes in Gender and Transformation and Gender Studies is a commitment to the integration of complex gender analysis into critical questions of democracy-building and social justice, particularly within the African continent. Transformation of inequitable institutional and political systems requires a pool of highly qualified researchers equipped to carry the process forward in all areas of life. Within South Africa, national institutions of higher education are expected to contribute to the creation of the diverse human resources needed to carry forward the development aspirations of a post-apartheid society.
The postgraduate programmes in Gender and Transformation, and Gender Studies, offered through the African Gender Institute, are designed to stimulate the development of critical thinking and reflection, and to contribute to the growth of research-led initiatives capable of understanding the dynamics of gender as part and parcel of development strategies, policy-formation, and broad-based activism.
Gender Studies has emerged in the context of the international women's movement. It is an area of scholarship imbued with a vision of a world free of gender discrimination and injustice. Feminist scholarship has generated an epistemic shift that has begun to transform global intellectual culture, in a manner capable of nourishing the emergence of a more equitable social order.There is now a vast literature with numerous specialisations and regional variations. Across the Humanities, Gender Studies has generated new theories, new methods and introduced new subject matter. These often transcend disciplinary boundaries, span the arts and social sciences, and link theory with practice. Because of its emergence in the context of the women's struggles that link personal change with political and social change, Gender Studies offer concepts and techniques for exploring the links between micro-political and macro-political aspects of the human condition. Strengthening Gender Studies within African universities, through postgraduate programmes which focus on building research capacity, enables us to apply the insights deriving from African experiences to the agenda of transformation and justice for all the people of Africa.
Who should apply?
The postgraduate programmes in Gender Studies welcomes graduates from UCT, other South African and African Universities as well as international students with an interest in gender studies, and a solid qualification in the Social Sciences. We are interested in working with those who have experience of Gender Studies as a transdisciplinary field and with those who have practical experience of the work of taking gender seriously in non-academic terrain. However, given that many universities do not offer Gender Studies as an independent major, we also often accept applications from those whose interest in the issue is high, and who are well-prepared for post-graduate research-focused study in other ways.
In the past few years, participants in the post-graduate programmes have been very diverse - men and women, coming from many different African countries, some with undergraduate experience of Gender Studies and others new to the field as an academic discipline, some coming straight into post-graduate work from undergraduate life, and others based in full, or part-time, work with NGO's and development agencies.
Do Postgraduate students get jobs with qualifications in Gender and Transformation & Gender Studies?
Graduates from the AGI's postgraduate programmes have found employment in a range of institutions, both nationally and internationally. These include teaching positions in universities, research positions in both NGOs and development agencies, promotion opportunities in positions held in government and universities, and access to further opportunities for study.
The African Gender Institute/ Gender Studies section
Harry Oppenheimer Institute Building
Level 2 & 4
University of Cape Town