This paper discusses the women’s movement in South Africa up until 1994 and how feminist activists helped shape the terms of the political transition by focusing their aims on engendering a gendered state. It then provides a brief overview of women’s representation in various levels of the state as a result of the consensus on the need for gender transformation. The paper shows that these achievements in representation have not translated into widespread material transformation of gender relations in South African society and also discusses the broader political economy conditions in which this lack of widespread transformation should be understood. The paper concludes that a political feminist women’s movement, which was demobilised in the early 1990s, is necessary to reignite momentum from below to struggle for meaningful women’s liberation in post-apartheid South Africa.
Our latest training guide focusing on how to set up a worker cooperative. This guide emerges out of the need to advance worker cooperatives and has been used in two activist schools hosted by COPAC in December 2014 and July 2015.
The biographies profiled here show how women in their struggles become agentic actors in their local spaces. They show the different ways in which and degrees to which women are empowered and the deeply intertwined nature of individual empowerment and larger social goals. The profiles focus on individual histories, goals and aspirations as well as their commitments to social change. We chose the women based on their effective agency in which their activities and empowerment have consequences for both their own lives and their communities. The women showcased here see their own personal development, women’s emancipation, and social transformation integrally interconnected.
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