Gender and Security in Africa

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module will examine how the primary functions of the sovereign state such as governance and security and the most visible manifestations of state security, war and militarism, both construct and are sustained by specific masculinities and femininities. By exploring feminist theoretical interventions on normative understandings of security, the connections between feminist knowledge production, policy influencing and praxis will be articulated. Through interactive seminars, students will develop a critical approach to gender and security through the examination of emerging approaches to thinking about safety and security by feminist movements in Africa. The role of these approaches in shifting both normative understandings of security and contributing to expanding existing feminist theories on gender and security beyond the human security framework will be explored. This module offers a unique blend of both theoretical approaches, policy interrogation and a focus on theory building from below through an emphasis on movements working on the frontline of contemporary security challenges in Africa. As the only gender and security module with a focus on Africa on offer at SOAS, this is a bespoke introductory module for students seeking to develop a critical perspective on gender and security and African feminist interventions.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Critically analyse key theories on gender and security
  • Assess the theoretical contributions of women’s movements to theorising peace and security in Africa
  • Develop innovative research projects on gender and security with a focus on Africa
  • Acquire knowledge on relevant policy frameworks, approaches and interventions on gender and security in Africa


  • 2 hour seminar per week 

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: 30% 
  • Assignment 2: 70% 


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules