Summer Course: Gender Equality in a South African Context

Explore gender issues during a unique academic summer course in Cape Town

Be part of a summer course that explores gender issues in a South African context. Based in the stunning and fascinating city of Cape Town, this course offers students unique ways of studying gender issues in the context of a developing country with a turbulent recent history, while learning from and contributing to female empowerment projects on the ground. The course offers a healthy balance of theory and practise, with your time divided between lectures by local academics and experts, relevant field trips that will contextualise your learnings, and practical projects. We’ll explore issues such as the definition of gender, the development of gender issues in recent South African history, gender and violence, politics of sexuality, and the rights of the South African LTBQ community. You will also be introduced to Xhosa during a basic language workshop.

You’ll also get to spend time with a Cape Town based nonprofit organisation that works to empower teenage girls through a variety of education and support programs, in an afford to help close the large gender equality gap that prevails. The program’s goal is to give girls a better start to womanhood by not only advancing their knowledge, but by also ensuring the boys and men in their community see the value of healthy, educated and empowered local women. As a participant on this summer course, you’ll be part of these projects on the ground, where you will learn about their goals and methods, assist with hosting workshops, and contribute by doing small-scale research projects.

This course is a unique opportunity to learn about South African culture, explore all elements of gender issues within this culture, and experience female support work at a grassroots level. Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by an academic advisor, and there is potential of getting course credits. All logistics will be taken care off too, so that you’ll be able to focus fully on getting the most out of this enriching experience.

We will ensure that you will:

  • Gain valuable knowledge of gender issues in general, but particularly in a South African historic and contemporary context
  • Learn about South African history and learn basic Xhosa
  • Get to experience and learn about female empowerment programs at a grassroots level
  • Enjoy a healthy balance of theoretical and practical learning
  • Receive professional academic support and work towards valuable learning outcomes.
  • Experience some of the many travel highlights Cape Town has to offer


Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town, South Africa
  • Dates Dates to be announced
  • Academic Focus All aspects of gender issues in the context of a developing country
  • Guidance Fully guided by local academics and field experts
  • Suitable for Open to all students with an interest in gender issues
  • Price upon request

This summer course is facilitated by a Cape Town based nonprofit organisation that focuses on female empowerment programs. The charity works with teenage girls in a number of African countries, in an effort to see young women and better informed young men working together to close the huge gender equality gap that exist in many African communities. The program focuses their work on six main elements; education, health, safety, early pregnancy, income generation and self-confidence.

gender program Cape Town gender studies summer course

Southern Africa still has a large gender equality gap, with some of the dominant issues being teenage pregnancy, sexual and domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, and a lack of education and employment opportunities. The country of South Africa, with its turbulent recent history of colonialism and apartheid, and its multicultural and social complex society, forms a particularly interesting case to explore these gender issues. During a well-structured program, we’ll give you the opportunity to explore, first-hand, the historical and cultural significance of gender and gain a thorough understanding of the current status of gender equality in South Africa.

The summer course will offer both theoretical and practical learning through a series of lectures, field trips, and practical service learning projects on the ground.

Lectures: You’ll enjoy a series of lectures, given by local professors and experts, which will cover the following main topics:

  • The notion of gender
  • Gender issues in a historical South African context; colonial era, post-colonial era, and apartheid
  • Gender issues in the context of a developing country
  • Indigenous Feminism and Intersectionality
  • Gender, UN and Security
  • Sexual violence in South Africa
  • Work and Parenting in a Post-Feminist World
  • The Gendered nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic
  • The sexual division of labour within the household
  • Violence and discrimination, both at a government and a civic level, against the LGBTQ community

Field Trips: Through a range of field trips to historical sites, museums, and nonprofit organisations, you’ll cement some of the theory-based learning.

Service Learning: During several days of service learning programs, you’ll spend time assisting female empowerment programs that work with teenage girls in underprivileged communities of Cape Town. Your involvement with this program will give you an in-depth understanding of the different issues young girls face here You’ll be able to learn about the organisation’s aims, methods, and measuring tools, and you will contribute to the program by helping to facilitate workshops and discussions and collecting useful data.

During this program, all lectures and workshops will be given by local academics and field experts. To ensure maximum professional development, you’ll be guided by an academic adviser along the way. All logistics will be taken care off too, so that you can focus fully on getting the most out of the experience.

Cape Town is arguably one the most stunning cities in the world. Framed between oceans and mountains, it’s surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an absolute highlight. Cape Town is also a place of huge diversity, lively cultures, and a vibrant nightlife. Living here is dynamic and interesting, and weekends will give you a huge variety of exciting activities. You can, for instance, venture to the top of Table Mountain, visit the historic Robben Island, drive to the iconic Cape Point, or hang out on some of the many beaches. If you’re into food and design, you can also choose to visit some of the trendy markets for some culinary treats and locally designed goods. Moreover, once you venture outside of Cape Town, you’ll find gorgeous winelands and stunning National Parks that are well worth a good road trip. Weekends are time off, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore some of Cape Town’s many exciting offerings.

You’ll be staying in a comfortable house in a safe an vibrant area of Cape Town, a close distance from restaurants, museums, and many of the travel highlights the city has to offer. During the week, three meals will be cooked for you at the house. During the weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Cape Town’s exciting culinary scene.

Intern abroad Cape Town

This summer course is particularly suitable to students of women studies, gender studies, politics, sociology, international development, human rights, and anthropology – but we are open to applications from students of other fields too.

If you are interested in joining, please send us your CV and let us know what motivates you to join the course, and what you are hoping to get out of it.


2019 dates to be announced

Course fee: USD 4,995 (2018)

Included in the fee:

  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day Monday – Friday
  • Transfers from Cape Town airport
  • Support services and daily guidance
  • All lectures and talks
  • Academic support and guidance
  • Any administrative support to help you get credit with your home university

Not included in this fee:

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals at weekends
  • Travel insurance

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