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Conflicting policy narratives: Moving beyond culture in identifying barriers to gender policy in South Africa

Mannell, J; (2014) Conflicting policy narratives: Moving beyond culture in identifying barriers to gender policy in South Africa. Critical Social Policy , 34 (4) pp. 454-474. 10.1177/0261018314538794. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores barriers to gender policy implementation arising from the narratives framing gender as a policy issue. Through examining the influence of gender policy narratives on practitioners, it challenges those who represent policy failures as the result of unsupportive cultural contexts. The paper draws on Fraser’s (1995, 2005; Fraser and Honneth, 2003) conceptualisation of recognition and redistribution to highlight tensions between three different gender policy narratives: (1) gender as instrumental for development; (2) gender as women’s rights and empowerment; and (3) gender as relations of power requiring personal transformation. Interviews with 32 gender practitioners in 26 South African non-governmental organisations and observations of meetings between these organisations show how these narratives lead to unhelpful conflicts between practitioners. These conflicts inhibit both the uptake of gender policy recommendations and collaboration between practitioners in ways that undermine efforts to address gender inequalities in the South African context.

Type: Article
Title: Conflicting policy narratives: Moving beyond culture in identifying barriers to gender policy in South Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0261018314538794
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261018314538794
Additional information: Once the article has been accepted for publication, you may post the accepted version (version 2) of the article on your own personal website, your department’s website or the repository of your institution without any restrictions.
Keywords: International development, policy implementation, policy narratives, practitioner perspectives
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470740
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