Phenomenological Underpinnings for Gender and Feminist Research in Education: Positioning Twenty-FirstCentury African Contexts

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Chege, Fatuma N.
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Kenyatta University
This paper addresses the near-absence of feminist theorisation and methodological considerationsas a conceptual gap in the gender research in African contexts.Not only is this perceived gaprelevant toresearch onfamily and community but it also implicateseducational research that mainly focuses on schooling and its interactions with other social institutionstoperpetuate subordination of women. Arguably,addressing this conceptual gap effectively withincritical and scholarly analytical stanceshas the potential to enhance the unmasking of the subtle drivers of women’ssubordination, that are oftenelusive in gender analysis that is outside the feminist mission.The author usesthe analytic and critical methods of philosophyto elucidate and foreground phenomenological underpinningsthat influencethe construction of gender power relations in the context of feminist theoretical mission which advocates for the understanding of women’s subordination through their voices as well as embracing the political task of challenging and dismantling female subordination in society. The philosophical arguments advanced herein, yield recommendationsand conclusions based on critical analysis of selected examples that are derived from gender research in African contexts and which are relevant to the feminist agenda. The key objective of this paper ismake theoretical and methodological contribution to the field of gender and educational researchthat inform researchers working in 21st Century African settings in pursuance of the attainment of the United Nations SDG 5 on ensuring gender equality and not in the least, SDG 4 on quality education and lifelong learning for all.
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Feminism, Phenomenological underpinnings, Feminist theorisation, Feminist gender research, Feminist methodology