Amina Mama

Chair, Gender Studies

African Gender Institute, University of Capetown

Middle Campus
Cape Town 7700
South Africa
Phone: +2721 650 2070

Amina Mama has held the position of Chair in Gender Studies at the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa since January 1999. She provides intellectual and strategic leadership to the African Gender Institute, where she also served as Director (1999-2002). She initiated and currently convenes the "Gender and Transformation" graduate programme in gender studies in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Cape Town. Additional responsibilities include institutional development, fund-raising and international outreach, including the direction of the African Gender Institute's continental outreach programme, "Strengthening Gender Studies for Africa's Transformation," an intellectual capacity-development and information technology development programme. Major outputs of this programme include the initiation of the first continental gender studies journal, Feminist Africa, in 2002, the establishment of a continental gender studies website,, and the initiation of a scholarly network of teachers and researchers working with gender in African universities.

Prior to her appointment by the University of Cape Town, Amina Mama held positions at international academic institutions in the Netherlands (The Institute of Social Studies, Den Haag) and Britain (The Development and Project Planning Centre at the University of Bradford, and the University of London). She was appointed as a Visiting Associate Member at St Anthony's College, Oxford, for 3 months in 1998, and at Wellesley College for 6 months in 2002, and has undertaken consultancy activities in the Caribbean, and in East, Southern and West Africa, on behalf of various scholarly and development organizations. She has been appointed as the Prins Claus Chair in Development and Equity for 2004.

She has authored and edited number of books, including Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity (Routledge 1995) which was recently listed as one of Africa's 100 Best Books in the twentieth century, Engendering African Social Sciences (co-edited and pub by CODESRIA 1997), and The Hidden Struggle: Statutory and Voluntary Sector Responses to Violence Against Black Women in the Home (Whiting and Birch 1996).

Professor Mama sits on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Institute for Research on Social Development, the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women, the Scientific Committee of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, the Board of the Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana. She serves as Ministerial nominee on the Council of the Cape Technikon, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of a number of academic journals in the areas of development, human rights and feminist studies.

Focus: Democracy, Development, Gender, Governance, Human Rights, South Africa, Africa

Selected Publications:

(Forthcoming) "Restore, Reform, but do not Transform: Gender and Higher Education in Africa," Journal of Higher Education in Africa, No. 1 (submitted).

(Forthcoming) Daring to Dream: Designing a Methodology for Visioning African Higher Education, Ford Foundation.

(2002, ed.) "Feminist Africa," Intellectual Politics, University of Cape Town: African Gender Institute, Issue No. 1.

(2001) "Challenging Subjects: Gender, Power and Identity in African Contexts," Nordic Africa Institute Monograph (repub. in South African Journal of Sociology, Issue 5, No. 2: 63-73).

(2001) "Violence Against Black Women in the Home" in J. Hanmer and D. Wigglesworth (eds) Home Truths About Domestic Violence, Routledge, London/NY.

(2000) "Feminism and the State in Africa: Towards an Analysis of the National Machinery for Women, National Machinery," Series No.1, TWN-Africa, Accra.

(2000) "Women's Studies in Subsaharan Africa" in Kramerae, C. & Spender, D. (eds) Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge, Routledge, London/NY.


Feminist theory, Policy analysis and praxis, Politics of development, Militarism, Democratization and social transformation, Organizational development and change

Language Fluency:


Last Updated: Sep 22, 2006

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