Mary-Anne Elizabeth Plaatjies-Van Huffel: A First Voice on Gender Equity in South Africa
Keywords:Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel, Policy on Gender Equity, Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), African women theologians, women leadership abuse
The article contains and expands on the previously unpublished first “Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel Memorial Lecture” that was given by the author on 12 August 2020. This was the day on which Mary-Anne Elizabeth Plaatjies-Van Huffel, who died on 19 May 2020, was to give her inaugural lecture as the first black woman to become a full professor in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The article concentrates on the pioneering work Plaatjies-Van Huffel did in her first doctorate, which she submitted in 2003 under the supervision of the author. The question is asked why, after almost 20 years, the proposals for gender equity set forward by Plaatjies-Van Huffel in her 2003 thesis have still not been heard, either by local academia or by the church to which she belonged, the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). In answering this question, her involvement in the equally neglected “Policy on Gender Equity,” accepted by URCSA in 1994, and adapted in 2005, will be highlighted.
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