Support Extended to Women Ward Councillors by Stakeholders in South Africa

Authors

  • Brian K. Majola Faculty of Management and Law, School of Economics and Management, University of Limpopo, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36941/jesr-2021-0053

Keywords:

ward councillors, women support, stakeholder theory, gender issues, local government

Abstract

The paper aims to explore how culture, family and community-women have shaped women councillors’ representation and participation in South Africa. It investigates the extent to which women ward councillors are gaining support from their male counterparts; other women councillors irrespective of political affiliation when women-related issues are raised in council meetings. The paper identifies reasons contributing to the non-support by key stakeholders when women-related issues are raised and when performing their duties. Post-1994 in South Africa, women’s participation in politics is still a struggle. The number of women ward councillors have been fluctuating since the local government was reformed between 1995/96. Ward councillors are elected by local communities to represent their respective wards, to be accountable to the community that elected them. The paper is exploratory and qualitative in nature. It focuses on 104 Ward and Proportional Representative (PR) councillors from local municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces. Face-to-face and telephonic interviews were employed. Findings were analyzed using content analysis and themes were induced from the data. The paper revealed that culture is gradually changing due to laws introduced. Also, family support depends on a woman marital status and family involvement in politics. However, males did not support women-related issues, but women ward councillors supported each other irrespective of political affiliation on gender issues. Community-women support councillors through women’s groups and community structures. The factors contributing to the non-support of gender-related matters include women competing with each other and political party influence.

 

Received: 27 January 2021 / Accepted: 15 April 2021 / Published: 10 May 2021

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Published

2021-05-10

How to Cite

Majola, B. K. . (2021). Support Extended to Women Ward Councillors by Stakeholders in South Africa. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 11(3), 78. https://doi.org/10.36941/jesr-2021-0053

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Articles