The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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In this fascinating collection, full of different textures, narratives and nuances, sixteen authors have begun to tackle the task of writing South Africas history from an overtly feminist perspective, giving readers an opportunity to understand and reflect on debates about real womens power in completely new and fresh ways.

Taking readers on an eclectic journey through the major themes of South African history from pre-colonial and pre-Union periods, through the terrors and struggles of the apartheid era to the present time, the authors have chosen not to be polite, but to interrogate issues, take them apart, turn things upside down. Readers are treated to a complete revision of the stories of Sarah Bartman and Xhosa prophetess Nongquawse; given a unique insight into the lives of slave women, the role of women in the early frontier wars, womens political struggles in the twentieth century, and on into the present with essays that deal with womens agency and current forms of protest and self representation.

An exciting combination of seasoned and new voices, the book is intelligent, subtle, magisterial and unforgettable.

CD also available with book.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 110mm x 160mm
Pages : 536
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2174-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2174-1
Publish Year : 2007

FOREWORD (Dr Pallo Zweledinga Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture)
INTRODUCTION: Basusiimbokodo, bawelimilambo, new freedoms and new challenges, a continuing dialogue (Nomboniso Gasa)

PART 1
Women in the pre-colonial and pre-Union periods

Chiefly women and womens leadership in pre-colonial southern Africa (Jennifer Weir)
Like three tongues in one mouth: tracing the elusive lives of slave women in (slavocratic) South Africa (Pumla Dineo Gqola)
Not a Nongqawuse story: an anti-heroine in historical perspective (Helen Bradford)
Women and gender in the South African War, 18991902 (Elizabeth van Heyningen)


PART 2
Women in early- to mid-twentieth century South Africa
Let them build more gaols (Nomboniso Gasa)
Testimonies and transitions: women negotiating the rural and urban in the mid-20th century (Luli Callinicos)
Generations of struggle: trade unions and the roots of feminism, 19301960 (Iris Berger)
Feminisms, motherisms, patriarchies and womens voices in the 1950s (Nomboniso Gasa)

PART 3
War: armed and mass struggles as gendered experiences
Women in the ANC-led underground (Raymond Suttner)
Another mother for peace: women and peace building in South Africa, 19832003 (Jacklyn Cock)
We were not afraid: the role of women in the 1980s township uprising in the Eastern Cape (Janet Cherry)
Women, labour and resistance: case studies from the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area, 19721994 (Pat Gibbs)

PART 4
The 1990s: new identities, new victories, new struggles
Naked womens protest, July 1990: We wont fuck for houses (Sheila Meintjes)
Loving in a time of hopelessness: on township womens subjectivities in a time of HIV/AIDS (Nthabiseng Motsemme)
Invisible lives, inaudible voices? The social conditions of migrant women in Johannesburg (Caroline Kihato)
Ambiguity is my middle name: a research diary (Yvette Abrahams)

Nomboniso Gasa works on gender policy analysis. She is a feminist and is passionate about womens roles in history. Gasa has written and published on gender equality issues, African feminism and related issues. She has also done work on political transition in Nigeria and edited Democracy in Nigeria: Continuing Dialogues for Nation-building. Her current focus is on the Making of a Man in Xhosa society, which is a historic and feminist critique of cultural practice and its continued and changing meanings.

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