Paradoxes of Gendered Rurality, Women’s Non-Economic Constructions, Disempowerment and State Capitalism in South Africa

Johannes Tsheola


Capitalist development in most developing countries has allowed for incomplete restructuring of the gendered rural spaces, thereby sustaining the exploitation of the perceived separation between the private household as social sphere and the public community as economic domain. The deeply gendered rurality, together with the masculine constructions of the hegemonic state capitalism, obscured and underrated rural women’s multiple development practices and contributions as non-economic subsidy to capitalist development. Under state capitalism, the state and traded capital derive benefits from feminization of the public community economic sphere whilst sustaining a strong association between rurality, women, private social household and communitarianism. This paper argues that state capitalism retained neoliberal market ethos, negating state activism, resulting into an inherently hostile environment to authentic rural women empowerment. Within the gendered rurality, constructed through colonialism and accentuated under apartheid capitalism, such state capitalism renders women-oriented projects paradoxical as they tend to re-enforce women disempowerment.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n1p315

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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