Contributors are invited to submit manuscripts on the above topic from either an activist or research perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style that is accessible to a wide audience. Please submit abstracts to or 

Deadline: 18 July 2019


Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 30 years and raises debate around women’s rights and gender issues. The journal is designed to promote critical thinking and debate and aims to strengthen the capacity of both men and women to challenge gender discrimination and injustice. The Agenda journal is an IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer-reviewed journal.

GUEST EDITORS: Professors Vasu Reddy, Mpume Zondi and Dr Gabi Mkhize

Conceptual Rationale:

Current interpretations and engagements with inequalities often highlight the negative impact on the growth of economies and poverty reduction. Inequalities continue to rise and touch on virtually all aspects of life. They go beyond food crises, health care access, infrastructure development and availability of resources. They also go to the heart of political conflicts, climate change and also the inequitable treatment of capital and workers, gender and indeed human relations. Recently, feted books – Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (2014), The Price of Inequality, by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz (2012) and Inequality: What can be done? by Anthony Atkinson (2015) – have raised the public profile of the new inequality discourse. Most notably Piketty’s work demonstrates the interrelationship between the economic dimensions of inequalities and other forms of inequalities. Inequalities continue to dominate many mainstream headlines, whether in South (Africa) or elsewhere in the global South. If poverty is the dominant narrative at the time, inequality is its poor, shunned cousin. Inequality is not a pre-given, but rather a result of a number of complex forces at play. While poverty is discussed, sometimes explicitly or implicitly, in most arguments about inequalities, the use of the term should be seen as part of a larger configuration of meaning to foreground its relational aspects (Schwalbe et al, 2000).

The human cost of inequalities warrants further inquiry to better understand how we can resolve, and indeed combat the problem of inequalities. A narrow definition of inequalities that overemphasizes the economic and wealth index at the expense of humanistic constructions presents a significant limitation to combating inequalities. Therefore new understanding, interpretation, and perspectives are essential.

This themed edition of Agenda focuses on feminist and gendered perspectives. Inequality is generally difficult to define and is both an abstract and relative concept. An assumption: to be unequal some must have more of whatever it is that is desirable or necessary and others must have less. What we know is that inequality can reduce the quality of human life. Central to inequality is the idea of the unequal distribution of resources and attributes (whether income, wealth, status, knowledge and power for example) across appropriate units (individuals, social groups, communities, nations). Inequality in the context of this special edition refers to the existence and distribution of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions and statuses in society, resulting in high levels of deeply entrenched social exclusion that inhibit sustainable human development and self-actualization. It is difficult not to view inequality as a condition, process, and experience of the unequal distribution of power relations that has a profound bearing on humanity.

Drivers which fuel unequal distributions of resources and thereby enhance and promote inequalities are unacceptable. However, against the complexity with which we are confronted, more than disapproval is required. The complexity of inequalities in South (Africa) requires that we develop explanations which account for their durability and persistence. We use the word persistence in this context to reference the staying power, prolonged existence and human and social resistance to such continuation, rather than a view of persistent inequality as conceptualized in purely economic terms.

The structuring and stratification effect of inequality on society is one of its visible effects. Inequalities are a driver of difference with respect to genders and sexualities, indeed all identity markers. A focus on the connections between theory and practice, between the local and global (even in the domains of knowledge), and the politics of material realities of daily life underpins this edition. Also important is a recognition of the multidimensionality and complexity of inequalities in their connection to resources, production, people, enhanced health care and education and the rights of women, youth, indigenous people and local communities.

This edition of Agenda will foreground some of the following key questions in the Call and we strongly urge authors to consider some of these questions in their planned submissions:

  • What are the conditions of possibility in current thinking about the state of gendered inequalities in South (Africa)?
  • What are current, emergent and prospective characterizations, discourses and narratives about gendered and feminist inequalities in South (African) thinking?
  • What gaps, blind spots, and limitations accrue when we over-determine the economic and the wealth index in respect of inequalities at the expense of conceptualizations that value their multi-dimensionality, complexity, and contestations?
  • What values, attributes, and meanings arise in viewing inequalities through a template that prioritizes extra-economic factors (such as the social and humanistic)?
  • What meanings are mobilized, opened up and problematized for further gendered and feminist work that is required on inequalities as determined by current gaps in our knowledge?

The edition will prioritize new theorizations and seek manuscripts that offer fresh and innovative gender and feminist analyses (including empirical perspectives) that offer nuanced interpretations of inequalities in feminist and gendered terms.  We are especially encouraging papers that theorize inequalities in gendered and feminist terms that offer perspective on African gender studies. It is critical that authors pay attention to clarifying how their ideas offer new perspectives on the human and social costs of inequalities in gendered and feminist terms.

The following broad areas/topics could also be considered from a gender and/or feminist perspective. The list below is not exhaustive nor prescriptive:

  • Gender inequalities in production and reproduction
  • Local feminisms and inequality (incl. social movements)
  • Gender pay gap, paid and unpaid work, and career trajectories
  • Work-family conflict (incl. family systems and family lives)
  • Disability oppression and empowerment
  • Gender Inequality and social change
  • Equality and the law
  • Women and health (including reproductive rights)
  • Women, politics and representation
  • State, law and social policy
  • Gendered citizenship (incl. choice/structure of citizenship)
  • Sexual inequalities (incl. homophobia, biphobia, transphobia)
  • Sex, power, intimacy and embodiment
  • Political economy of gender inequality
  • Gender, ageing and retirement
  • Women, austerity measures and inequality (including economics)
  • Media and inequality
  • Culture, stigma and social stereotyping
  • Women in Higher Education (incl. perspectives on the decolonial turn and its gendered/feminist implications) for curriculum transformation
  • Schooling and the curriculum
  • Gendered and sexual violence (incl. rape myths)
  • Environmental change
  • Religion and spirituality in women’s lives
  • Identities and inequalities
  • Intersectionality (race, class, gender, age, sexuality, nationality, language, rural-urban etc.)
  • Gender, Science & Technology (incl. feminization of the 4th Industrial revolution)
  • Science and social inequality (incl. truth claims in science)
  • Systems of privilege and inequality
  • Discriminatory epistemologies
  • Nature versus culture
  • Re-reading some of the foundational theories of gender and feminisms
  • The multifaceted meanings of inequality in gendered and feminist terms
  • Inequality and social justice
  • The human cost of inequality (including histories, narratives, suffering, memories)
  • Representations of inequalities in literary, visual, cultural (incl. drama and performance) and cinematic production
  • The limits of inequality as an evaluative concept

Note: A delimitation. It is often the case that poverty is used as a shorthand for inequality. While the two concepts are interdependent, we urge prospective authors to think through their usage and conceptualization carefully. This edition deliberately zeroes in on inequality as a conceptual basis for thinking through a gendered and feminist lens; and successful abstracts will need to prioritize inequality as a key concept via the topic/s that may be chosen.

The editors are interested in receiving submissions that will include the work of both established scholars as well as graduate students and “emerging” researchers.


Atkinson, T. 2015. Inequality: What can be done? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bem, S.L. 1993. The lenses of gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.

Bezbaruah, S. 2015. Banking on Inequality: Women, Work and employment in the banking sector in India. New York & Oxon: Routledge.

Brueggemann, J (ed). 2012. Inequality in the United States: A Reader. New York: Routledge.

Calasanti, T.M.; & Slevin, K.F. 2001. Gender, Social Inequalities, and Aging. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Davis, A. 1983. Women, Race and Class. New York: Vintage Books.

Elias, J. 2004. Fashioning Inequality: The Multinational Company and Gendered Employment in a Globalizing World. Hampshire, UK & Burlington, US: Ashgate.

Farris, N.D.; Davis, M.A.; Compton, D-R (eds). 2014. Illuminating How Identities, Stereotypes and Inequalities Matter through Gender Studies. New York and London: Springer.

Ferguson, S.J.. (ed). 2016. Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Class: Dimensions of Inequality and Identity. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage Publications.

Fernandes, L (ed). 2018. Feminists Rethink the neoliberal State: Inequality, Exclusion and Change. New York: New York University Press.

Ford, L.E. 2018. Women and Politics: The pursuit of equality. 4th edition. New York & London: Routledge.

Harding, S. 2006. Science and Social Inequality: Feminist and Postcolonial Issues. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Hicks, M. 2017. Programmed Inequality: How Britain discarded Women Technologists and Lost its edge in Computing. Cambridge, MA & London, UK: The MIT Press.

Iversen, T & Rosenbluth, F. 2010. Women, work and Politics: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Karamessini, M & Ruberg, J (eds). 2014. Women and Austerity: The economic crisis and the future for gender equality. Oxon & New York: Routledge.

Kumar, S. 2017. The Gendered Terrain of Maintenance for Women: Enmeshed Inequalities in Culture and Law. Chennai: Scholarlink.

Lorber, J. 2012. Gender Inequality: Feminist theory and politics. 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Miller, J. 2008. Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence. New York & London: New York University Press.

Newman, D.M. 2012. Identities and Inequalities: Exploring the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Pettit, B & Hook, J.L. 2012. Gendered Tradeoffs: Family, Social Policy, and Inequality in Twenty-one countries. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.

Piketty, T. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

Raday, F. 2019. Economic Woman: Gendering Inequality in the Age of Capital. London and New York: Routledge.

Razavi, S (ed). 2009. The Gendered Impacts of Liberalization: Towards “Embedded Liberation”? Oxon & London: Routledge.

Rydstrom, H (ed). 2010. Gendered Inequalities in Asia: Configuring, contesting and Recognizing Women and Men. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

Schippers, M. 2016. Beyond Monogamy: Polyamory and the future of Polyqueer Sexualities. New York: New York University Press.

Schwalbe, M., Godwin, S., Holden, D., Schrock, D., Thompson, S. and Wolkomir, M., 2000, ‘Generic

processes in the reproduction of inequality: an interactionist analysis’, Social Forces, Vol 79 No 2: 419–52

Scott, J; Dex, S; Palgnol, A.C. (eds). 2012. Gendered Lives: Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction. Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Soudien, C; Reddy, V & Woolard, I (eds) 2019. Poverty and Inequality: Diagnosis, Prognosis, Responses. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Stoll, L.C. 2013. Race and Gender in the Classroom: Teachers, Privilege and enduring social inequalities. Maryland, US: Lexington Books.

Stiglitz, J. 2012. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. New York:

W.W. Norton & Company.

Vigen, A.M. 2006. Women, Ethics, and Inequality in US Healthcare. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wilkinson, R.G. 2005. The Impact of Inequality: How to make sick societies healthier. New York: The New Press.

Yu, W-H. 2009. Gendered Trajectories: Women, Work, and Social Change in Japan and Taiwan. Studies in Social Inequality. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Brief Biosketch of editors:

Vasu Reddy is a Professor of Sociology, and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria. His research interests are genders, sexualities, HIV and AIDS, inequalities and social justice. He has published in these areas in local and international journals, as well as in co-edited volumes and co-authored monographs. He previously worked at the Human Sciences Research Council, where he was also Executive Director of the Human and Social Development Research Programme. He also taught previously at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Some recent book-length publications are Care in Context: Transnational Gender Perspectives (with Stephan Meyer, Tammy Shefer & Thenjiwe Meyiwa, 2014; HSRC Press), Queer in Africa: LGBTQI Identities, Citizenship and Activism (with Zethu Matebeni & Surya Monro, 2018; Routledge) andQueer Kinship: South African perspectives on the sexual politics of family-making and belonging (with Tracy Morison and Ingrid Lynch, UNISA Press & Routledge, in 2018). Most recently he co-edited State of the Nation: Poverty and Inequalities (with Crain Soudien and Ingrid Woolard, HSRC Press 2019).

Nompumelelo Zondi is an Associate Professor and Head of African Languages Department at the University of Pretoria. She attained her BA majoring in English and Zulu at the University of Natal. She then studied for her BA (Hons) and Masters focusing on African languages from the same university where she taught Zulu for both mother tongue and non-mother tongue students. Between 2002/2003 she spent her sabbatical year at the State University of New York at Albany, USA. During this period, she was attached to the Department of Africana Studies where she taught a module in Zulu Language and Culture. It was during this period that she was exposed to and developed a keen interest in Gender Studies. She participated and became actively involved in seminars within the gender studies programme. When she returned to the University of Natal she pursued her PhD in which she focussed on how gender and power relations are depicted in contemporary women’s songs. In 2008 she obtained her PhD from the same university which by then, and due to a merger, had changed its name to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as it is presently known. In 2009 she became Senior Lecturer and Academic Coordinator in the Department of Zulu Studies. In 2012, she joined the University of Zululand as an Associate Professor where she taught Traditional and Modern African Literature as well as Research Methodology. She utilizes her main discipline – African Languages, as a platform to highlight the need for transformative approaches, which address concerns around inequality, access and human rights specifically with regard to women. This she does mainly through the analysis of discourses used in post-democratic literary works as well as in cultural practices with multiple forms of discrimination based on gender and other factors. She has further presented numerous papers on these pertinent issues nationally and internationally including countries such as Greece (Athens), India (New Delhi), Italy, (Florence) Puerto Rico (Caguas), and US (New York, Berkeley-California, Chicago, Washington DC). Her latest international conference was in at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in July 2018 where her presentation was on how literary texts could be used as a tool of alerting humanity on gender-based violence as a social ill.  Nompumelelo has published a body of articles in accredited scholarly journals such as Folklore Society, South African Journal of African Languages, Literator, Agenda and Nomina Africana.  She also has a book chapter in Indigeneity Culture and Representation (New Delhi: Orient Black Swan) and is currently awaiting finalization of a monograph based on her PhD dissertation by UKZN Press. 

Gabi Mkhize lectures in the School of Social Sciences, specializing in Gender Studies, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has a Ph.D. in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University, USA. Prior to UKZN, she taught at Denison University and The Ohio State University, both in Ohio. Her publications and research interests include gender and development, gendered violence, identity politics, gender and disability, gender and tourism, intersectionality, postcolonial feminisms, critical black feminist thought and black studies. She is currently serving as the editor for one of the 2019 Alternation Journal issues, in addition of peer reviewing manuscripts for the following accredited journals: Agenda Journal, Alternation, Folklore Society, and The Journal of Social Development in Africa.

Submission Guidelines for Agenda Journal

The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in preparing their contributions.


Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of womxn’s organizations and organizations interested in and concerned with gender issues.

Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.

Writers need to:

  • Write in an accessible and understandable style;
  • Inform, educate or raise debate;
  • Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
  • Provide an analysis and an argument;
  • Be logical;
  • Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
  • Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight into the subject;
  •   Utilize a gender or feminist lens.

We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorized articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.

Formats of Contributions

  • Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
  • Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 – 4 000 words)
  • Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
  • Profile looks in detail at an organization, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 – 3 500 words)
  • Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops, etc. 
  • (1 500 – 4 000 words)
  • Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 – 3 000 words)
  • Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 – 3 000 words)
  • Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument or pieces which deal with argument and difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 – 4 000 words)
  • Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective, narrative style (1 500 – 3 000 words)

Contributions should be submitted in the following format:

File type: Microsoft Word

Font: Arial

Size: 10 pt

Line spacing: single

Justification: left

Referencing: Harvard style

All submissions should have the following:

Abstract: 200 – 300 words

Keywords: approx 5 keywords

Bio: 100 – word author biography, including email address

Bio picture: head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format

Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission

Selection and Editing Process

All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double-blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Group.

Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.

On resubmission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal.

Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.

Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.

Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years

WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.

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