This chapter focuses on gender, sexuality and security in post-Apartheid South Africa.
The methodology includes secondary analysis of policy and research with the aim of highlighting and assessing the position of gender, sex and security in post-Apartheid South Africa. Feminist theory and intersectionality are used to discuss issues of sexuality, security, construction of gender relationships and experiences of being a woman in South Africa. The normalisation of violence against women is challenged.
The social implications of this research are that it challenges normalisation of gendered violence, questions gendercide and produces knowledge of a gendered social reality of living in South Africa. Women who consider assault a regular feature of their sexual relationships have been brought into a discourse which includes the liberalisation of sexual expression, claims to new sexual rights and aspirations to power and status through sexual relationships (Posel, 2005a).
Throughout the chapter the achievement of gender equality is problematised and questioned. However, gender and the relationship between power and sex remain at the centre of the inquiry, particularly with reference to the increasing culture of violence and men as the perpetrators of violence against women.
According to Posel ‘one of the most striking features of the post-apartheid era has been the politicization of sexuality’ (2005a, p. 125) and this chapter demonstrates that a response to the violation of the Women’s Charter of Effective Equality, passed in 2000, is a priority as women and families are disproportionately affected by violence in multiple ways.