The polemics of gender equality and cultural diversity in a multicultural setting : a South African case study
CITATION: Pillay, P. & Teleki, M. 2018. The polemics of gender equality and cultural diversity in a multicultural setting : a South African case study. African Journal of Public Affairs, 10(5):40-56.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ajpa
This article aims to unpack the polemics associated with advancing gender equality through law and policy, while simultaneously advancing cultural diversity in a country where there are not only variant cultures but where the cultures themselves are multiple in nature. Part of the exploration in this article centres on the co-existence of gender equality (through law, policies and programmes), and the promotion of cultural diversity (through law and policies), in a country such as South Africa. The aspect of equality arises from the need to balance out power in order to eradicate the dominance of one gender towards the other. This is partly why, in some non-western countries, cultural practices and beliefs systems prevail amidst gender equality laws or policies. The implication here is that even though the laws on gender equality may exist as an ideal aspiration, the promotion of cultural diversity could present a conflict between cultural practices and gender equality. Given this context, this article will explore the politics, challenges and tensions of advancing laws and policies on gender equality within a domestic environment that promotes cultural diversity in a multi-cultural setting.