n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Beyond education for domesticity : towards a pan-African education for girls

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



Drawing from in-depth interviews with girls incarcerated in a correctional centre, this paper exposes the subjective experiences that impinge on the access and progress of girls in educational settings. The author posits that these lived existential circumstances reveal that the micro and macro powers continue to be symbolic of the colonial and apartheid structures which perpetuated the gendered inequalities and disparities between girls' and boys' access to education. From the narrative subjective experiences of girls, the paper reveals the continuing economic marginalisation, cultural constraints as well as teenage pregnancies that force girls to drop out of school, remain domesticated and resort to criminality. The narratives further reveal the ambiguities between policy documents and practices inherent in government structures that promise to redress the gender inequalities and practices in South Africa. The paper seeks to contribute to policy reformulation by making the case that gender does matter, and that gender-blind or neutral policies as they persist should be in line with the pan-African ethos that serves to conjoin the existential realities with the policy formulations in order to redress the gendered impact of colonial legacies within the South African context.

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