Transformation in the South African National Defence Force : with specific reference to gender equality

Monethi, Dineo Cecilia (2013-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Transformation is an inevitable consequence of human resource practices and includes the political imperatives, behavioural transformation and the turnaround change. Gender equality is a critical component of the United Nations Resolution on Human Rights (Resolution 1325). Women are subjected to a variety of barriers that determine their organisational experiences, and therefore the achievement of gender equity requires the elimination of patriarchal practices, stereotypes and attitudes that perpetuate their marginalisation. Striving for gender equity within the armed forces should not reduce women to being passive victims of the transformation agenda as they operate both during conflict and peace-time. The representation and empowerment of women into decision-making structures and the protection of their rights can be spearheaded through the gender mainstreaming strategies. In the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) transformation placed greater emphasis on racial representivity to the neglect of gender equity. This situation has effectively contributed to the gender dialogue which aimed to assess the implementation of gender equity objectives. Furthermore, it is the guiding principle on the participation of women in the military to enhance gender representation and the attainment of self-actualisation and excelling in their areas of responsibilities. The purpose of the study was to explore the extent to which the SANDF supports gender transformation imperatives to ensure gender equity and it further investigated gender integration within the SANDF as a supportive theoretical analysis. The conceptual framework of gender transformation and gender mainstreaming in the military, and in particular within the SANDF, in the context of Employment Equity was conducted. To make an objective and informed assessment, the attitudes and perceptions of middle management and lower management of both the SANDF were measured. Data were collected from respondents through three sessions of facilitated focus group interviews and a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire. The sample was drawn from the Pretoria region. The findings of the study indicated that the DOD top leadership is supportive of gender transformation by the effective promulgation of transformation policies and the improvement in the representation of women in decision-making structures. The military environment is trying to create a conducive environment for women by providing resources, the essential training for women to maximise their potential, and furthermore by allowing their inclusion in all areas including deployment areas.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Transformasie is ‘n onvermydelike gevolg van personeelbestuurspraktyk en sluit in die politieke imperatiewe, gedragstransformasie en omkeerverandering. Geslagsgelykgeregtigheid is ‘n kritieke komponent van die Verenigde Volke se Resolusie aangaande Menseregte (Resolusie 1325). Vroue word onderwerp aan ‘n verskeidenheid hindernisse wat hul organisasie ervarings bepaal en daarom vereis die bereiking van geslagsgelykgeregtigheid die uitwissing van patriargale praktyke, stereotipes en houdings wat marginalisering bevorder. Die strewe na geslagsgelykgeregtigheid binne Weermagte behoort vroue nie te degradeer tot passiewe slagoffers van die transformasie agenda nie aangesien hulle aangewend word tydens beide konflik- en vredestye. Die verteenwoordiging en bemagtiging van vroue in besluitmakende strukture en die beskerming van hulle regte kan gerig word deur geslagshoofstroming strategieë. In die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag (SANW) plaas transformasie groter klem op rasse verteenwoordiging as op die nalating van geslagsgelykgeregtigheid. Die situasie het effektief bygedra tot die geslagsdialoog wat beoog om die implementering van geslagsgelykgeregtigheid doelwitte te evalueer. Dit is ook verder die leidinggewende beginsel rakende die deelname van vroue in die militêr om geslagsverteenwoordiging te bevorder, die bereiking van selfaktualisering en uitblinking in hulle verantwoordelikeidsomgewings. Die doel van hierdie studie was om te bepaal tot welke mate die SANW geslagstransformasie imperatiewe ondersteun ten einde geslagsgelykgeregtigheid te verseker en het ook ondersoek ingestel na geslagsintegrasie binne die SANW as ‘n ondersteunende teoretiese anal ise. Die konseptuele raamwerk is geskep rakende geslagstransformasie en geslagshoofstroming in die militêr, en in besonder aangaande die SANW binne die konteks van Werkverskaffingsgelykheid. Ten einde ‘n objektiewe en ingeligte evaluering uit te voer, is die houdings en persepsies van Departement van Verdediging (DvV) militêre en siviele middelbestuurders en lae vlak bestuurders gemeet. Data is versamel van respondente tydens drie geleenthede van gefasiliteerde fokusgroep onderhoude en ‘n semi -geadministreerde vraelys. Die steekproef is geneem vanuit die Pretoria omgewing. Die bevindinge van die studie dui daarop dat die (DvV) se top-leierskap ondersteunend is aangaande geslagstransformasie deur die effektiewe uitvaardiging van transformasie beleide en die verbetering van verteenwordiging van vroue in besluitmakende strukture. Die militêre omgewing poog om ‘n omgewing te skep wat toeganklik is vir vroue deur die voorsiening van middele wat noodsaaklik is vir opleiding van vroue ten einde hul potensiaal te optimaliseer en hulle verder toegang te verleen tot alle gebiede insluitend gevegsgebiede.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80295
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