Gender norms in Zimbabwe challenged and defended
Negotiations of gender and power in Zimbabwean politics and culture were the topic of discussion when Lene Bull Christiansen visited NAI earlier this month. A former guest researcher at NAI and currently a lecturer at Roskilde University, Lene Bull Christiansen took part in an informal discussion at the institute.
In her research she has been looking at instances where gender has played a formative factor on the political stage. In particular, she has studied the debate that emerged from the reading in parliament of the domestic violence bill and the appointment in 2004 of the country’s first female Vice President, Joyce Mujuru.
In her Ph.D dissertation, ‘Gendering the Nation: negotiations of gender, power and culture in Zimbabwe 2004-2008’, she looks at cultural images of masculinity and femininity. They are analysed in the marriage institution, in relation to sexuality in the context of HIV/AIDS and in the narrative of the nation. The study is set within the context of the recent economic, political and social crisis in Zimbabwe.
Lene Bull Christiansen’s aim is to explain how and why culture and gender are interesting for political power. She argues that culture and gender shape how power and authority are ascribed, legitimized and maintained.