Deevia Bhana

Professor Deevia Bhana



Deevia Bhana holds the DSI/NRF South African Research Chair in Gender and Childhood Sexuality. Her research is transdisciplinary, drawing on feminist and new materialist theories to investigate the gendered sexual cultures of children and young people, their experience of violence and the ways in which education and other institutions can contribute to enhancing their sexual well-being, safety, and gender equality. She has authored 12 books and contributed to over 150 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. Her most recent authored work is Girls and the Negotiation of Porn in South Africa: Power, Play, and Sexuality (Routledge, 2023). She has also co-edited two recent books: Gendered and Sexual Norms in Global South Early Childhood Education: Understanding Normative Discourses in Post-Colonial Contexts (Routledge, 2024) and Sex and Sexualities, Sexual Health and Justice: Perspectives from Southern Africa (Routledge, 2023).


Recent Supervision (2018)

Science Engagement

A record of contribution to the public’s understanding of gender and childhood sexuality:

Upcoming Events

08 April 2024 Reimagining Gender and Sexuality in Global South Early Childhood Education

Reimagining Gender and Sexuality in Global South Early Childhood Education Conference. 8 April 2024. Durban, South Africa.


8 April 2024
The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel
Suite 4-5, Elangeni Tower

Early Childhood Education (ECE) has long grappled with the complexities of understanding and addressing gender and sexuality. Given the dominance of childhood sexual innocence, research and debate around these issues are often subdued and avoided. Grounded in colonial and postcolonial discourses, this conference aims to challenge the prevailing silence and confront the systemic reproduction of heteronormative and gendered ideologies within ECE settings. We seek to address several questions: What underlying assumptions continue to hinder the recognition and integration of gender and sexuality as vital components in ECE? How can we move beyond developmental models that perpetuate gender binaries and reinforce normative notions of sexuality, towards more inclusive and transformative approaches? In what ways do dominant discourses on childhood perpetuate notions of innocence and passivity erasing children’s capacity and lived experiences? How can we understand the intersection of race, space, class within the postcolony in shaping understandings of gender and sexuality in Global South ECE contexts? And finally, we ask, what are the transformative potentials of centering gender and sexuality in ECE research, policy, and practice for promoting social justice and gender equality.

One Day Conference-Reimagining Gender & Sexuality in Global South pdf download

Keynote Address download

30 Nov 2023 CERA 10th Anniversary Conference

Empowering Education in the Digital Age: Reflections on the Last Decade and Future Directions

Conference Venue:

Thursday, 30 November 2023
Chair: Enze Guo and Fang Xu

CERA 2023 Schedule Download

29 Nov 2023 Masculinities, social justice and education webinar

Masculinities, social justice and education webinar Hosted by Professor Amanda Keddie, Swarthmore College

When: 29th November, 6pm-8pm EST

The current moment is both rich with possibilities and beset with new challenges for gender
justice. New collective engagements with feminism have coincided with renewed scrutiny on the social construction of masculinities. While research, education and activism in this area is rich and longstanding, the current moment represents an opportunity for new conversations and ways of thinking in our work with men and boys for social justice.
This panel focuses on masculinities, social justice and education. It brings together renowned scholars across the globe to share their ideas about useful and productive theories or concepts for thinking and understanding masculinities, social and/or climate justice and education.

The panel
Naobi Way, New York University
Deevia Bhana, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Matt Pinkett, Author and Teacher Adam Howard, Colby College Joseph Nelson, Swarthmore College Anna Hickey-Moody, Maynooth University Garth Stahl, The University of Queensland
Carolyn Jackson, University of Lancaster
Please join us for this engaging and important event!
Here is the registration link: Register in advance for this webinar:
Registration QR code is also on the attached flyer

16 Nov 2023 Sexuality education for gender justice in South African contexts: Pitfalls and Possibilities

Invitation: Book Launch

Sexuality education for gender justice in South African contexts: pitfalls and possibilities

Join us for the virtual launch of this publication by Professors Tamara Shefer and Sisa Ngabaza (UWC) with Professor Deevia Bhana (UKZN) as discussant.

Date: Thursday, 16 November 2023 from 14:00 – 15:00
RSVP: to to obtain the link.

Invitation Shefer Ngabaza Download


13 November 2023 Family Matters Reproduction & Care in Africa. Kisumu, Kenya.

Stephen Ombere (Maseno University), Lillian Owoko (Maseno University), Nolwazi Mkhwanazi (University of Pretoria), and Deevia Bhana (University of KwaZulu-Natal ) are convening this conference to enable an exchange of ideas between a number of people from South Africa and Kenya about families, kinship and care.

CfP Family Matters Kenya pdf

Kenya Conference v3 pdf

2 October 2023 Safe Surfing": Gender, Sexuality and Young People’s Digital Connections Seminar. Durban

“Safe Surfing”: Gender, Sexuality and Young People’s Digital Connections

Date: 02 October 2023
Time: 08:30 – 16:30
Venue: The Capital Pearls Umhlanga
Room: Ultramarine

For young people, online surfing has become the ‘new normal.’ As early as the age of 13, young people worldwide gain access to a multitude of social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and more, providing opportunities for entertainment, information and communication, relationship building and social connections. These connections serve as crucial spaces for expressing gender and sexuality, exploring sexual curiosities and developing new intimacies and relationships. However, online surfing is also entangled with normative understandings of gender and sexuality, violence, harassment, and abuse, posing a significant threat to young people’s emerging sexualities, especially affecting young women and girls.


One Day Conference Safe Surfing Pdf

15-16 Dec 2022 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals & Gender Perspective

Keynote Address

2nd International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals & Gender Perspective (ICSDGAGP2022) (Online mode)

Dates: 15-16 December 2022

Faculty coordinators: Dr. Vasundhara Mahajan & Dr. Anandita Chowdhury, DoEE SVNIT Surat.

Organized by: Department of Electrical Engineering, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), Surat, Gujarat – 395007, India.

Conference website:

Institute website:

Brochure: Download

26 -28 Oct 2022 Decolonising Feminisms.

The International Research Association of Institutions of Advanced Gender Studies (RINGS) Conference and Annual Meeting 2022

Topic: Decolonising Feminisms. Hosted by UKZN, Durban


11 Oct 2022 Webinar: African cities: what place for the youth?

Date: 11 October

Webinar African cities: what place for the youth?

Topic: “Challenging Cities: Young Men, Masculinity and Violence”

The programme is available using the link below: 

20-21 Sep 2022 REPRODUCTION IN AFRICA New Horizons

This event is the first of five events that takes place annually, once in each of the 5 countries that are part of the Re-imagining Reproduction: Making babies, making kin and citizens in Africa project. The keynote speakers will discuss the idea of whether there is a need to re-imagine scholarship on reproduction in Africa, what this might look like and/or what this might achieve.

Future Africa. Hosted by REPRODUCTION IN AFRICA New Horizons


31 Aug 2022. 15h00-17h30 Gender, Sexuality and Sexual Health in Southern Africa

The University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH), cordially invites you to the launch of Gender, Sexuality and Sexual Health in Southern Africa.

Sex, sexuality and sexual health are often viewed through a narrowly biomedical lens. This ignores the fact that they are profoundly social and historical in character. Recent work in Southern Africa (and beyond) has sought to challenge this perspective, asking important questions about how to move beyond notions of damage and risk in relation to sex, sexuality and health, to a focus on recognition, rights, respect and pleasure.

Building on the contributions in the recently published book – Sex, Sexuality and Sexual Health in Southern Africa – and the experiences of seminar participants, this event will take the lid off these and related concerns.

This event will be of special interest to scholars, health professionals, community workers and activists seeking new ways of understanding and engaging with old issues

Date: 31 August 2022
Time: 15h00 – 17h30
Venues: Future Africa Auditorium, Hillcrest Campus and Online


25 Aug 2022. 09h00 Gender-Based Violence in Institutions of Higher Learning

Expert Roundtable on Gender-Based Violence in Institutions of Higher Learning: Plenary Panel I 10:30 – 12:00: Exploring the concept and nature of GBV, causes and influencing factors in institutions of higher learning A project of the Law Trust Chair in Social Justice (Professor Thuli Madonsela), Law Faculty, Stellenbosch University

25 August 2022 09:00 SAST at STIAS, Stellenbosch University



14 Jul 2022 Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Young Children: Needed and Denied

I SexAFIN International Virtual Conference “(Re)thinking about comprehensive sexuality education from a child-centered and gendered perspective”.  2nd Conference day: Strategies of CSE.

Topic: Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Young Children: Needed and Denied. 

Programa_I SexAFIN International Virtual Conference FINAL

20 Jun 2022. 14h00 Teenage girls and the entanglement with online porn

British Sociological Association New Materialisms study group seminar. 

Topic: ‘Teenage girls and the entanglement with online porn: A new feminist materialist perspective’ 

PsySSA 2022 Workshop Series: Workshop 1 – Sexual consent in young adults: A moment or a movement? 

Topic: Sexual Consent: Sex, Power and Young People