Towards a feminist ethics of <i>ubuntu</i>

Amanda Gouws and Mikki van Zyl

in Care Ethics and Political Theory

Published in print August 2015 | ISBN: 9780198716341
Published online August 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191784941 | DOI:
Towards a feminist ethics of ubuntu

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Neoliberal economic policies in post-apartheid South Africa have failed to deliver justice to its citizens. Using the notion of care both as an ethical concept and as gendered labor, we seek an ethical framework of justice which can provide livable lives to people who are construed as “needy” and “vulnerable.” By investigating the dominant moral discourses of human rights and ubuntu prevalent in South Africa today, the chapter concludes that neither has delivered the dignity and equality promised in the Constitution, especially not to women. Using concepts developed in a (Northern) feminist ethic of care, we develop a relational ethic of justice based on a synthesis between a feminist ethic of care and ubuntu, an indigenous South African concept of ethics.

Keywords: feminist ethic; ubuntu; liberalism; relationality; constitution of subject; philosophical concept; labor; embodiment of care

Chapter.  9560 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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