Political Science
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Prof Amanda Gouws

Amanda Gouws is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and holds a PhD from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the USA. She currently holds a SARChI Chair in Gender Politics.

Her fields of specialisation are South African Politics, Gender Politics and Political Behavior. Her co-authored book with James Gibson from Washington University St Louis, Overcoming Intolerance in South Africa: Experiments in Democratic Persuasion (Cambridge University Press, 2003) was awarded the Alexander George Book Award for best book in Political Psychology in 2003. In 2004 she received the Rector's Award for Excellence in Research. She is the editor of (Un)Thinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa. (UK: Ashgate and Cape Town: Juta, 2005). This book was selected as "Book of the Month" in February 2007 by Constitution Hill, the seat of the Constitutional Court.

In 2012 she received an award in the category Distinguished Women in Science from the Department of Science and Technology. In 2012 she received the Wilma Rule Award for the best paper in the category "Women and Politics" from the International Political Science Association (IPSA) at their conference in Madrid, Spain, with a paper titled: “Multiculturalism in South Africa: Dislodging the Binary Between Universal Human Rights and Culture/Tradition". Her edited manuscript with Daiva Stasiulis, titled Gender and Multiculturalism: North/South Perspectives appeared with Routledge in 2014.  An edited collection with Joy Watson on the global impact of Donald Trump, Nasty Women Talk Back, appeared with Imbali Press in 2018.

She has published widely on issues in South African Politics and Gender Politics. Her areas of specialization is women and citizenship, women's representation in government, women's movements, national gender machineries and gender based violence.

She is a member of the Association of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF). She was a Commissioner with the South African Commission for Gender Equality from 2012 to 2014.  In 2018 she received the Rector's Award for Excellence in Media Reporting.  She writes and op-ed piece in a newspaper every second week.

Current Research Projects

  • The first gender base line study on attitudes toward gender equality and culture is being analysed and written up in a co-authored book.
  • The women's movement in post-apartheid South Africa
  • Determining the obstacles for women members of parliament to contribute to substantive representation




Watson, J and A Gouws (eds) (2018) Nasty Women Talk Back.  Cape Town: Imbali Press (engagements with the Global Women's Marches accessibly written).

Gouws, A and D. Stasiulis (eds) Multiculturalism in South Africa: North/South Perspectives. UK: Routledge (2014)/ UKZN Press (2016) (Paperback).

Swart, N, A Gouws, P Petterson, J Erasmus and F Bosman (eds) Welfare, Religion and Gender in Post-Apartheid South Africa- Constructing a North South Dialogue.  Stellenbosch: Sun Media (2012).

Gouws A (ed) (Un)thinking Citizenship: Contemporary Feminist Debates in South Africa. Hampshire: Ashgate/Juta. (2005).

James L. Gibson and Amanda Gouws Overcoming Political Intolerance in South Africa: Experiments in Political Persuasion. NewYork: Cambridge University Press. 2003.



“Gender, Politics and the State", Politeia 37:2 (2018), pp1-9.

“#EndRapeCulture Campaign in South Africa: Resisting Sexual Violence through Protest and the Politics of Experience", Politikon 54:1 (2018), pp3-15.

“Feminist Intersectionality and the Matrix of Domination in South Africa", Agenda 31:1 (2017).

With Angela Alchin and Lindy Heinecken “Making a Difference in Peacekeeping Operations:  Voices of South African Women Peacekeepers", African Security Review 27:1 (2017), pp1-19.

“Women's Activism Around Gender Based Violence in South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution and Representation", Review of African Political Economy 43: 149 (2016).

“Gender, Politics, and the State in Southern Africa" in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies (edited by Nancy Naples) (2016).

With Hayley Galgut, “Twenty Years of the Constitution: Reflecting on Citizenship and Gender Justice", Agenda 107 (2016).

With Pieter Fourie, “Introduction to the Special Issue: “Citizenship (Local and Global) – 20 Years After the Constitution", Politikon 43:1, (2016), pp1-6.

With Collette Schulz-Herzenberg, “What has trust got to do with it: Measuring Political Trust in South Africa, 20 Years after Transition", Politikon 43:1, (2016), pp7-29.

Phillips, A, D Byrne, A Gouws, D Lewis, L du Toit and S Viljoen, “A Conversation with Anne Phillips on Multiculturalism", Gender Questions 3:1, (2016).

“The State of Women's Movement in South Africa Twenty Years after the Democratic Transition", Agenda 100, (2014).

With Julie Claassens “From Esther to Kwezi: Sexual Violence in South Africa Twenty Years after Democracy", International Journal of Public Theology 8 (2014).

With Joleen Steyn-Kotze and Jo-Ansie van Wyk “Celebrating Forty Years: The State of Political Science in South Africa in 2014", Politikon 40:3 (2013).

“Multiculturalism in South Africa: Dislodging the Binary Between Universal Human Rights and Culture/Tradition", in Politikon 40: 1 (2013). (Special Issue on Multiculturalism).

“Introduction: Women in Local Government Elections", Journal of African Elections 11 (2012).

“Reflections on Being a Feminist Academic/Academic Feminism in South Africa", Equality, Diversion and Inclusion: An International Journal 31: 5, (2012), pp526-541.

With Derek Davis (2011) “Monitoring Perceptions of Causes of Poverty in South Africa" Social Indicators Researchhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/0303-8300/preprint/?sort=p_OnlineDate&sortorder=desc&o=10 (online article).

“Women's Representation in Government: Quotas, Substantive Equality and Self Interested Politicians", Transformation 77 (2011), pp80-99.

With Trunette Joseph and Jane Parpart “A Transformative Approach to Gender Mainstreaming: Changing the Deep Structure of Organizations", Kinder, Kon & Forskning 20:1 (2011), pp7-21.

“The Feminisation of Migration", Africa Insight 40: 1, (2010), pp169-180.

“Feminism in South Africa Today: Have we Lost the Praxis?" Agenda 83, (2010), pp13-23.

“A Gender Perspective on Social Welfare and Religion in Paarl through the Lens of a Feminist Ethics of Care" Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, Number 33 (2009). (Special Issue on Churches, Welfare, Religion and Gender: The Impact on the Role of the Churches).

With J C Erasmus and W van der Merwe “Changing Landscapes of Welfare, Religion and Gender: the Impact on the Role of the Churches" in Journal of Theology for Southern Africa Number 33, (2009).

“Global Women's Movements and Transnational Feminism: A View from the South", Critical Half 7:1, Fall (2009).

“Changing Women's Exclusion from Politics: Examples from Southern Africa", African and Asian Studies 7 (2008).

“Obstacles for Women in Leadership Positions: the Case of South Africa", Signs 34:1 (2008), pp21-27.

With Hennie Kotze “Women in Leadership Positions in South Africa: The Role of Values", Politikon – SA Journal of Political Science 34: 2 (2007).

With Jane Bennett, Andrienetta Kritzinger, Mary Hames and Chris Tidimane “'Gender is Over': Researching the Implication of Sexual Harassment Policies in Southern African Higher Education", Feminist Africa 8 (2007).

“Ways of Being: Activism and Theorizing at the Global Feminist Dialogues in Porte Allegre, Brazil, 2005", Journal of International Women's Studies 8: 3 April (2007), p28-36.

With Andrienetta Kritzinger “Dealing with Sexual Harassment in Institutions of Higher Learning: Policy Implementation at a South African University", South African Journal of Higher Education vol 21: 1 (2007).

With Yusef Waghid “Higher Education Quality Assurance in South Africa: Accreditation in Perspective", South African Journal of Higher Education 20: 6 (2006).

Book Chapters

“Women and the Election: The Not So Good Story to Tell" in R Southall and C Schulz-Herzenberg, Election 2014. Johannesburg: Jacana (2014).

With Mikki van Zyl “The Feminist Ethics of Care through a Southern Lens"  in V Reddy, S Meyer, T Shefer and T Meyiwa (eds), Care in Context: Transnational Perspectives. Cape Town: HSRC (2014).

“Gender and the State of Political Science in Africa" in Jane Bayes (ed), Gender and Politics: The State of the Discipline. Berlin: Barbara Budrich Publisher (2012). 

“Gender Perspective on Social Welfare in Post-Apartheid South Africa" in N Swart et al (eds), Welfare, Religion and Gender in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Stellenbosch: Sun Media (2012), p95-116.

“Social Welfare and Religion in Paarl through the Lens of a Feminist Ethics of Care" in N Swart et al, Welfare, Religion and Gender in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Stellenbosch: Sun Media (2012), p269-282.

“Citizenship, Gender Equality and the Limits of Law Reform in South Africa" in Contours of Citizenship. Ashgate Publisher (2010), pp147-156.

“The South African Women's Movement: A Movement or Not?" in C McGrath (ed), Interest Groups and Lobbying in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press (2009).

With Arnold de Beer, “Media and Elections in South Africa: Finding a Foothold on the Democratic Path" in Jesper Stromback and Lynda Lee Kaid (eds), The Handbook of Election News Coverage Around the World. New York: Routledge (2008).

With Andrienetta Kritzinger and Marece Wenholdt, “Case Study 1 – Report of an Inquiry into the Implementation of the Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure at the University of Stellenbosch" in J Bennett (ed), Killing a Virus with Stones – Research on the Implementation of Policies Against Sexual Harassment in Southern African Higher Education. UCT: African Gender Institute (2005), p55-115.

“Assessing the National Gender Machinery in South Africa: Gains and Weaknesses" in C van der Westhuizen (ed), Gender Instruments in Africa – Critical Perspectives, Future Strategies. Midrand: Institute for Global Dialogue (2005), p112-127.

“The State of the National Gender Machinery: Structural Problems and Personalized Politics" in Daniel, J and R Southall (eds), The State of the Nation 2005-2006. Cape Town: HSRC Press. (2005). (Reprinted in South African Women and Dialogue Conference Document 2006 and also in South African Women in Business Update (2006), p143-166.

With Paul Mitchell, “South Africa: One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality" in M Gallagher and P Mitchell (eds), Comparative Electoral System. Oxford University Press (2005), p353-373.

“Establishing Gender Studies Programmes in South Africa: The Role of Gender Activism" in CODESRIA Gender Series 3 Gender Activism and Studies in Africa. Dakar: CODESRIA (2004), p41-53.

“Democracy and Gendered Citizenship: Educational Institutions as Sites of Struggle" in Y Waghid and L Le Grange (eds), Imaginaries on Democratic Education and Change. Pretoria: South African Association for Research and Development in Higher Education (SAARDHE) (2004), p69-81.

“The Importance of Political Tolerance in Fostering Social Cohesion" in D Chidester, P Dexter and W James (eds), What Holds Us Together. Pretoria: HSRC (2003), p42-66.

“Women as Political Participants: The Gender Gap in Voting Behavior" in G Fick, S Meintjes and M Simons, One Woman, One Vote. Johannesburg: Electoral Institute of South Africa (2002), p116-135.

With Shireen Hassim “Redefining the Public Space: Women's Organizations, Gender Consciousness and Civil Society in South Africa" in J R Cochrane and B Klein (eds), Sameness and Difference: Problems and Potentials in South African Civil Society. The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (2000), p123-155.

With Shireen Hassim “Gender, Citizenship and Diversity" in M Cross, N Cloete, E Beckham, A Harper, J Indiresan and C Musil (eds), Diversity and Unity. Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman (1999).

“The Gender Dimension of the Election" in A Reynolds (ed), The South African Election '99. Cape Town: David Philip (1999).

With Robert Mattes “Race, Ethnicity and Voting Behaviour: Lessons from South Africa", in Elections and Conflict Resolution in Africa. Washington DC: United States Peace Institute (1998), p119-142.


She has guest edited issues for Agenda, Politikon, Politeia, the Journal of African Elections, and Critical Half.