South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Women in the Struggle

Summary

African women faced dual oppression, because of both their race and their gender. The migrant labor system meant that many African women could not obtain permits to live in cities with their husbands, so they were forced to remain in rural areas, caring for their children there. In political organizing, too, men sometimes did not treat women as equals. However, women made significant contributions to the struggle against apartheid.

Related Multimedia Resources:

Web Documents

Magazine Article: "Where Shall I Go?", The Black Sash
By David Rabkin
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Magazine Article: "Permission Withdrawn, Brief Human Story of Removal", The Black Sash

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Resource: South Africa: Truth and Reconciliation
By Neal Conan [more info]
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Suggested Reading

Threads of Solidarity: Women in South African Industry, 1900-1980
By Iris Berger
[more info]

A Life
By Mamphela Ramphele
[more info]

My Spirit is Not Banned
By Francis Baard and Barbie Schreiner
[more info]

Side by Side: The Autobiography of Helen Joseph
By Helen Joseph
[more info]

Suggested Films

South Africa Belongs to Us
Director: Peter Chappell, Chris Austin, Ruth Weiss

You Have Struck a Rock
Director: Deborah May

Maids and Madams
Director: Mira Hamermesh


AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH