Mangaliso Gender and Nation Building in South Africa

Mangaliso Gender and Nation Building in South Africa - MARY...

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Unformatted text preview: MARY ANN TETREAULT 70 Compare the views of southemer Nguyen Thi Dinh, reported in the Christian Science Monitor, 4 November 1987 (when she was president of the Women’s Union), and those of northerner Duong Thi Duyen, Vice—president of the Women’s Union, revealed in an interview with me on 4 January 1988. Madame Duyen attributed the relative lack of women in top economic and political positions in Vietnam to the lack of formal education during the war (which should have affected men at least as much as women). She saw the drop in the number of women elected to the National Assembly in 1987 as due to a failure by the Women’s Union to campaign effectively. Madame Dinh, in contrast, was reported as believing that the inferior position of women in post- revolutionary Vietnam was the result of men clinging to their outmoded Confucian values — and privileges. 71 Le Duan, then general-secretary of the Workers Party, cited in Nguyen Thi Dinh, ’La Loi Sur 1e Manage et la Famille et l’emancipation de la Femme’, Bulletin de Droit 1 (1987), p. 4. 72 This figure was calculated from the list presented in Nguyen Huu Tho, ‘Personalities of the Liberation Movement of South Vietnam’, Commission of External Relations of the NLF, mimeo, n.d. It represents a high estimate. The list is incomplete; it omits the ‘secret leaders" of the NLF discussed in Pike, pp. 216—17, also alluded to in Truong Nhu Trang, A Viet Cong Memoir. Trang identifies himself as one of these secret NLF leaders. It is unlikely that any secret member was female as the secrecy itself was necessitated by thehigh position in either the government of South Vietnam or a major private corporation that these NLF leaders held. None of these positions was occupied by a woman. 73 ’Women’s Participation in State Administration and Economic Management’, Women of Vietnam 4 (1987), p. 27; Eisen, pp. 244, 246; interview with Doang Thi Duyen. 74 Quoted in Eisen, p. 246. 75 Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Re’gime and the French Revolution, trans. Stuart Gilbert, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1955; Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979. 76 Mary Ann Tétreault, ’Women and RevOlution: What Have We Learned?, in Women and Revolution in Africa, Asia, and the New World, ed. Mary Ann Tetreault, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994. 77 Skocpol, pp. 164—67. 78 Claudia L. Johnson, Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1988. For a discussion of revolutionaries and their efforts to harmonize politics and everyday life according to a new pattern, see Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. 3 GENDER AND NATION-BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA Zengie A. Mangaliso South African women had participated in many battles against the system of segregation ~ known asapartheid -— that had governed their society since the mid—twentieth century. Impose??qu the white minority, apartheid legally restricted where people of color could live, limited their movements, prevented them fi’om having a voice in government, and exploited them economically. By relegating people of color to certain areas, it allowed whites to claim land and resources. Deprived of land, men went to work in mines and performed other back—breaking labor. Women served as domestics for white families. Along with legal discrimi- nation, Africans were harassed by police and suffered the other punishments of everyday life in a racist society. Protest became a way of life for many black South Africans. In the 19505 and thereafter South Africanwomen boycotted bus and other transportation systems, protested the killing and imprisonment of activists, and demanded better wages and jobs. Informal networks sprang up with African-American women activists in the US civil rights movement, with each movement nourishing the other. But apartheid endured longer than the ]im Crow laws that kept Americans segregated by color. Over the decades women gained incredible experience, not only of hardship but also of activism. When apartheid was overthrown in the 1990s, South African women had hard-won political experience, diasporic connections with black activists on other continents, and the warning from the curtailed women’s rights that followed on the heels ofother national liberation movements’ success. They were prepared to make demands and ensure their recognition as full citizens from the various parties that ran post-apartheid South Africa. The new constitution of South Afiica reflects their insistent efi‘orts. ZENGIE A. MANGALISO On 26 April 1994, South Africa made a shift from a minority government led by the Nationalist Party (NP) to a new government elected by the majority of the people and led by the African Nationalist Congress (ANC) The electoral process, which for the first time included majority-age members of all racial groups, symbolized political fulfilment and first—class citizenship for all South Africans. In the new and transitional constitution the government stipulates categorically its commitment to equality for all South Africans. The preamble outlines their entitlement to a ’democratic constitu— tional state in which there is equality between men and women and people of all races so that all citizens shall be able to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms.’1 Chapter 3, the Bill of Rights in the interim constitution, lists equality as the primary and fundamental right, and protection before the law, clearly stipulating that no person shall be discriminated against directly or indirectly on various grounds including sex and gender.2 The constitutional reference to equality raises several fundamental questions. How does a society that is still rooted in old gender traditions transform itself into a modern democracy that recognizes equality between men and women? As an agent of socialization and of resources that different ' interest groups compete for, the government plays what role in facilitating or even obstructing the shift toward gender equality? This chapter attempts. to address the questions. . We begin with a brief history of women’s involvement in social move: ments. A discussion of the positions taken by the various political parties as they competed for representation in government follows. We end with a discussion of how the gap can be closed between what appears to be government rhetoric on gender equality, and women’s reality. ' V Gender and nation-building and then have found their participation in public institutions to be limits thus curtailing their efforts in nation—building. This is ironical in the sens that women will have joined the various political movements and willh participated in guerrilla movements aimed at deposing the enemy. independence, women in most parts of the world have been excluded fro the nation-building process and have been reminded that their righ, place and contribution are within the home. This trend, which is almos universal, raises questions about the South African situation. Again; South Africa, the most pressing question is whether the intent and langu of the constitution can become reality. . ‘ When one looks at the South African society, one sees its mosaic 1 It is a society of several races and ethnicities that have been kept sepa and unequal through apartheid. In reality, South Africa incorpg ’ Afrikaner Broederbond (Afrikane ‘ r. I It is clear from its name that r -_. during the war, as the men a , g to motherhood, self-sacrifice, and stoicismfi. _ pOWer accrued to Afrikaner men. In the _ in the operation of th ‘ VblaCk womenj apar eid and the op GENDER AND NATION-BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA the Afrikaners, the English, and other considered part of the white I group, a group that has been la 1 ' ' under apartheid. South Africa also incorporates Coloregsgehztfigzsleags: Africans who are part of the black group that has been largely disadvan- gigetill tinder apartheid. For simplicity, it can be asserted that apartheid ir u frica has produced two nations, a white South Africa d bl South Africa, each with its own historic an a aCk ' a1 and oliti ' ' sense of nationalism, and its own gend p ca] experlences’ Its own er experiences. As can be expected, what nationali ' I ' sm has meant for the white I in particular the Afrikaner group that has been in power for mori Elli? forty years is different from the nati ' ' , onalism articulated b disad black groups. Further, although similarities between the taro $011,133:de be drawn based on in ~ . ' ~group hierarchical ender experiences have also been different. g arrangements’ gender The origins of Afrikaner national smaller European groups who an survive in the emergent British-driven ca ' ' I , p1tahst s stem. 0 ' ' firikiners had no monolithic identity and no single unifyifilggllaraiflyathe tragyfi ad tloli cigar:1 a new community of the volk, with new and 1 ons, g ig ting their strong Calvinistic reli 'o I _ n, and th 1 to create a smgle written language.4 In 1918 Afiikaails emerged Z :11:0 Elld rceeclomggilzgd Boer reflecting the traces of the Dutch Frenchgangl rigms o e ' aners. It can be ar ed th t fr I I Afrikaner identity had a clear class co gu a 0m the omset the ' I ' ' mponent. It was born ' ' strategy of mobilization in order to overpower the British ofirfliapldlitigaal and economic front, and to tran f . would fit the Afrikanerethos,5 5 0m the SOch Afncan SYStem SUCh that it Afrikaner nationalism has had a cle group of Afrikaner men establish ar gender focus" A small elite ed in 1918 a secret society called the ' ' - r Brotherhood) whose strat uplift the prev10usly pohtically and economically downtroddeneiflrivllzsietf) flzgiqefierbond beiafrlifi: the custodian of Afrikaner nationalism in that preserve ' aner values of cultural and ' 'l ' ' . rac1al su eriori . I was synonymous With Afrikaner male economic and politicapl intertgstst Afrikaner women were excluded from the ner women had supported Afrikaner men” scended to power, the women were assigned ‘ society. Even though Afrika anlc’lc :Vas a position with contradictory outcomes. Denied formal politicalw conomic power, Afrikaner women, however, shared the benefits of process, they became complicitous pressmn of black people, including ZENGIE A. MANGALISO It can be argued that African nationalism emerged as a response to the oppressive nature of apartheid. The African Nationalist Congress (ANC), founded in 1912 and ostensibly the first political organization established to challenge apartheid, in the preamble to its Freedom Charter called for national unity, asserting that ‘South Africa belongs to all who live in it black and White’, and highlighting that all South Africans deserve to be treated as equals. The initial position of the ANC was not to take over political and economic power but to extend that power to blacks. Drawn from the urban intelligentsia and mostly mission-educated, the early members of the ANC demanded full civic participation in the society rather than a radical alteration of the existing power structures. The ANC turned to guerrilla warfare when its demand went unheeded for decades and when it was instead met by violence from the apartheid government. The language of the ANC was inclusive of people of color, and called for national unity, but its leadership was solidly male and hierarchical. This contradiction prompted the establishment of the Federation of South African Women (FSAW), a group within the ANC whose intent was to draw Freedom Charter and the experiences of women within the movement. It is important to note that even within African nationalism, the concept of motherhood was and still is prominent. Winnie Mandela .has been hailed .‘ for her contributions to the struggle against apartheid as the ’Mother of _' the Nation’, Miriam Makeba, the South African activist singer, has been addressed in most of Africa as ’Ma Africa’.8 The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), an organization that broke off. from the ANC because of the dispute over the inclusive language of the ‘2, " the attention of its members to the discrepancy between the language of the I I GENDER AND NATION-BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA ih§C1uflimg parties Whose numbers are former enemije: . PS 3‘79 'e'ir own notio ‘ ' ‘ r « . E be llke, and vodferousl ns of what a new South Africa shouli ' y express their opinions. One ' Afrikaners who prefer a homeland of their own whgfgltllli’eiiogfillliie: ssgm rately and preserve their language naditions and ide ' . . , , nt1 . gallieadfldpby Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of thetlynkatha Fre d K ty ), who IS advocating the secession and self— e on Véaeilél: Natal, where a large proportion of the Zulus reside western Zofgxiillty' w1th1n South Africa deserves special mention Ir various women[es issues of gender equality are generally articulated b feminism Within:h grgupish and are largely informed by feminism. Wester: experiences of b1 ek ou African context, and especially as it relates to the BlaCk women ac Erwomen, has largely been Viewed with skepticism emand ation assiit . at they have always dealt with issues of women’s withoutp being :vm:gffii?elessfe;::1fie5, and pontical movements . ‘ o e erm emin' {JeeréZEncgsffénltnlst' thought, which asserts that all wolitfiffgdggf:sr:§1 let that fa :1 entilolus. The assertion implies that women share a common exéerience din: 1 e race and social class do not create a diversity of SOCiety Forbl:Ckrequires.different strategies to challenge inequality in prima . and women in South Africa, issues of racial inequality are still ry cannot be overlooked in the sense that they affect a larger collective This sentiment h ' . . . as been succmctl ex r ' liberation movement in the following statemint:p eSSEd by women m the pa determination o $231233??? 2h; prime issue is apartheid and national liberation a lean women should concentrat ' . ' . I e on and f isolated feminist movement, focusing on issues of women {:33}: nalroweSt 591158, iInplies African women ' must f1 can be e‘lually oppressed with African men.lo ght so that they vehemently opposed, and still opposes the language of the Freedo Charter. It argued that by proclaiming that South Africa be ' live in it, the ANC is denying a historical fact and reality: SouthAfric‘aT belongs to the indigenous people, and their land was auctioned for sale t all who live in it. The PAC emphasized its commitment to the overthro of the apartheid government and the restoration of the land to its right, owners. The PAC’s stance on African land ownership is expressed in: maxim: ‘Izwe Lethu’ (The land is ours).9 To my knowledge, the PAC ha been quiet on the issue of gender; however, it can be asserted that like mo political movements, its hierarchy is gendered. It is axiomatic that 1110 political movements whose primary goal is to take over ownership government and land are dominated by males in all societies. ‘5' The primary question at this pointis — considering that South’Afn incorporates groups with divergent histories and gender experiences ‘ sort of national identity is needed in order to create a transformed; united nation? The processofereating a single nation has begfl with formation of the governmentofnational ’2; a . . This 1 ' L on 2r1:11;otltgogsirglue that issues of gender inequality are an irrelevance the hist S , e National Executive of the ANC, for instance issu aCknOWperégeéatt-‘tement on the Emancipation of Women, in which it W:s . a women’s emanci atio ' 1 p n1snotab - rodut ' Eggtagqhnand W nflneeds to be addressed With Min‘thé‘democZaIficmofrecfriggnglifl e co ictual situation that black ' . S With: they have to fi women in South Africa are faced I gure out under what circumst lssu . ances to advance woneigusndetiilwhat‘ Circumstances to advance the gender issue Fire/EVE? it been com e ou t CilAfrica, their unequal position as women in society ha: p nsa e for by their being members of a privileged racial group ZENGIE A. MANGALISO Historical considerations — women’s struggles Women in South Africa have been involved in every aspect of the struggle for freedom against apartheid. Some specific events that women have participated in can be highlighted. As early as 1913 (When African men were already mandated to carry passes), women successfully mobilized against the extension and implementation of pass laws, which were rescinded until 1950, When they Were reinstated and forcefully implemented. It is worth noting that the effort drew support from women of various race groups. Women have also been involved in various revolts and boycotts, including consumer boycotts. The revolts of rural women against the culling of cattle in Natal and their participation in the potato and bus boycotts to challenge certain unfair labor practices, which took place in the 1950s, are well documented.11 Unfair labor laws eventuate some of which were led by prominent women: Lillian Ngoyi is well known for her effective and brave leadership of the labor unions in the 19505. Vimiiii i Beginning in 1973, women increasingly participated in consumer and rent Ii \ boycotts, many of which were sparked by real declines in standards of }H~p;ij'ii“ living. Because women have always had the responsibility of managing , "'42 households, struggles against the escalating cost of living have had great d 1990s women became active in the appeal for them.12 In the 1980s an ) as it fought unfair Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU practices in the workplace enabled by apartheid la zation they addressed issues affecting them as women, such as night shifts, maternity leave and the implications of such leave, and sexual harassment in the workplace. 4, Aside from such involvement, the onslaught_of\the apartheid system on black families prompted women to join uerril forces such as the Umkhonto Wesizwe (Spear of the Nation) within e ANC. Interestingly, women have also actively advocated peace. A conference hosted by: ZANU-PF Women’s League, in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1989, whose theme was ’Women in the Struggle for Peace,’ drew women from all spheres of, life and with a range of affiliations. These included women from the then- banned ANC, white South African women affiliated wi women engaged in community wor \ and many others interested in promo . p “ It needs to be noted that by and large, ‘9 movements initially derived from issues that as women and the lives of their fami as ’soft issues.’ Women’s participation involving the well—being of everyone, because the dominant ideology define issues,’ as a male arena.13 To illustrate, the presents biographies of only seven women amo ting peace in South Africa. ng its 122 entries.14 In p0 ws. Within the organi— . th the Black Sash, k, university lecturers, churchwomen,’ women’s involvement in resistance: directly impacted their lives lies. Such issues were later perce' in broader national issues, those began on a smaller scale, d national political issues, ’hafd Who’s Who in South African Politics 2‘ to Cu G ENDER AND NATION-BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA of fact, ' ' ' the 193321}? 3233‘ Ziélfiidhfiigfifiiimd in the deem Since f0 . . representation in - 2‘§;:::;1::,f$:}£]€0nstltuted psnly 3.5 percent of the Lowefg P123121? :23 institutions has b pper House. Overall, women’s presence in most public high I een much smaller than men’s, and increasin 1 ll Inetrh eveLs of the hierarchies Within the institutions g y sma er at represeitzzolfiliilng ‘of South-Africa, the gap between male and female for several reasorsis).cl:itr3sts 13233013281325 to be addressed and IEdIESSEd . I , en ne ativel i :5:;tl::1ge0i:iel; likedeveryone else, and their situafiions ahdrsigtaiigti: $2113; in Challengin pi 0;:11. Siepond, in various ways women have played a role in a democragficpSO ‘ ei ails, and have earned the right of full participation energy effort andciety. rd, to build a democratic society, everyone’s inVOIVém t , h input is critical, including women’s. Said differe t1 en in t e nation-buildmg process should be open to everylorie g South African political parties on gender E1 . . . . go:::rr:np:rllitt;cf:lapiartiis campaigned for representation in the current that they drew mona unity. Four have been identified as major parties in reformed Nafio 1.ore support than the others from the electorate' the Africanist con na ist Party (NP), the Inl<atha Freedom Party (IFP) the Pan their histo gress (PAC), and the African Nationalist Congress (ANC) I ry and evolution, each has dealt with the issue of ' ' i n way‘ gender in its own The Nationalist Party, which histori in particular Afrikaner interests, hasciggeheiresiihiflrm?fi:iitcfrliili: ggfiiitlizzp; geinder.1This1p_e_r_spec-tive has had much to do with shaping en er re ations in the societySAccordinfl I w I p. __7 V. tothis ' figapfi womerrare biologically different: men havge superiggrsrlilcgvel worng 1, women ’bear‘and rear children. These differences suit p y lea are thenf natprillydto different roles. Within the Afrikaner communnilt’:n and I e ami y ea 5 and, by extension h d ' ' I men focal: on the private and domestic spheree.a s m the pubhc sphere; women was :31 g);£VasS1Ve gender arrangement supported by the Nationalist Par It worked?) umiéied up in the now defunct males-only Broederbonfiy pelifics Partr symbolized Afrikaner male interests, aspirations and was cofifine Cijc1tpation 1n the national political scene by Afrikaner women lives. The worn: voting and givmg support to the political men in their n members of the Nationalist Party were part of what is 4 . known ’ ‘ as the Women s Action group. At regional and national levels they met as a constituen ' ' ' cy to discuss issues of importance to male political L. f}: this reflects bad upbringing on their part.18 ' VNWomen in the party by and large ZENGIE A. MANGALISO V ' d to raise funds. In short, their agenda was set by leadelllélg: tElizllllady’ was usually the wife of a prominent politi— . men-16 In the forty years that the Nationalist party was in power, leadership 'Clan. blic institutions has been overwhelmingly male; in a parliament 3&11103 National Party members, not one is female. Only one woman has been a member of Parliament: Helen Suzman, of British—Jewish heritage, representing the opposition Progressive Party. In sum, the Nationalist Party has supported a patriarchal society where ultimate control rests primarily Wlllhgilliihafireedom Party has dealt with the gender issue in a minner that the appearance of being contradictory. Recognizmg thatI c1ricag women in particular have suffered along51de men under apar e1 an contributed toward challenging it, the partthas publiclyapplauded WOIEiEI; yet remains patriarchalwandmhierarchigalingreatment of gender. :13 he MEgaéfifHu'fififliaezi, its leader, in various speeches around Nat as clearly stated his View on the position of women in the party and society: My sisters, you are mothers in suffering inhumanity. Some of you are Wives in an oppressed society and some of you are daughters in our oppressed society, and the full brunt of apartheid is borne by you more than by any other Blacks: . ._ . [W]hen others were quaking with fear, when others were intimldated . . . it was you who stood up to be counted.17 At the same time, Chief Buthelezi emphasizes that all party members should be under the direct authority of his leadership, just as a woman should-be under a husband’s authority at home. In one of the documents pub11c121ng the party’s position on gender, a Inkatha offic1al wrote: In the family the man is the head. The woman knows that she is not equal to her husband. She addresses the husband as father , and by so doing the children get a good example of how to behave. Women refrain from exchanging words with men and if they do, accept their secondary position perceive their role as mother and defender of the home while men engage”! Lin public issues. They see their contribution in soc1ety to be fortitluflf,» forbearance, and unfailing support to loved ones. In a sense, throug hine, party, they have been trained to look upon themselves as the power be In the literature of the Pan Africanist Congress, the party appears Effie on the question of women. Patricia De Lille, PAC secretary of foreign a argues that historically the PAC has been anxious not to marginalize wom ; GENDER AND NATION—BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA by focusing on them separately from the overall population. The PAC premise is that national issues invariably incorporate both sexes and hence there is no need to address male and female equality. Curiously, after the lifting of the ban on all political movements in 1990, the PAC set up a women's wing that would have representation in its National Executive.20 In other words, the PAC recognized the need to assist women’s full participation in the public arena. There is indication that within the ANC while it was a resistance movement, the issue of male and female equality was one of lively debate. As mentioned earlier, although racial equality was seen as primary, the gender issue lagged behind until it was brought to the front by the Federation of South African Women. Through women's insistence and persistence, the Women’s Charter was written, highlighting the importance of gender equality. The Women’s Charter begins by affirming the overriding commonality of interests women share with men: \ We women do not form a society separate from men. There is one 2Q? society and it is made of both women and men. As women we share the problems and anxieties of our men and join hands with them to remove social evils and obstacles to progress.21 At the same time, the charter recognizes that women are discriminated against in society on the basis of sex, and commits women to working for the removal of discrimatory laws and practices. Throughout the charter, the dual nature of the women’s struggle for equality is stressed: As members of the national liberation movements . . . we march forward with our men in the struggle for liberation. . . . As women there rests upon us also the burden of removing from our society all the social differences developed from past times between men and women which have the effect of keeping our sex in a position of inferiority and subordination.22 Needless toHsayLrof the four major parties the istheflrnost progressive 'fiegara to genderandimixldbenefit all§outhAfricanwomen regardless of ragial background. TheANCpolicnguidelines unequivocally advocate women‘s equality in the public and private spheres, and encourage women's broad participation in post-apartheid socio—economic national development strategies. The emancipation of women must be an integral part of their lives, not just in legal statements, but in the reality of their lives . . . if women do not achieve equality with men, society will have failed. They have struggled within their homes, they have given their time, energy, and lives to the struggle for national liberation.23 ¢‘ 7 x) a A l mostly untouched by outside institutional forces, including government ZENGIE A. MANGALISO The next, and most crucial, step for the ANC government is to move forward, to make certain that women are indeed Pa1r t 0f the nation—building process. Toward achieving gender equality in South Africa A step already taken by the ANC government toward eliminating gender inequality was the introduction of affirmative action programs in all public institutions, ostensibly intended to encourage equal access to opportunities for all South Africans regardless of race and sex. Such programs elsewhere in the world, including the United States, do not translate into instant Opportunities for the historically disadvantaged, and are also accompanied by a host of controversies. 1 Although the programs are welcome in that they indicate the willingness of the state to intervene to ensure equality, they are not by themselves sufficient. Women’s representation in public institutions, particularly black women’ s, will not occur overnight. Some concrete steps are being taken to remove barriers created by apartheid, but cultural barriers remain largely untouched, and thus create circumstances unique to women. Again, the South African culture clearly defines the positions of men and women in society: the public sphere is primarily the male sphere, and the private sphere is primarily the female sphere, and from birth everyone is socialized thereto. This pattern will not change soon because over time it has come to be perceived as ’natural,’ the most convenient, and thus the most acceptable. Females may have access to quality public education, and, it is hoped, may have access to gainful work, but will run the risk of still having to fulfill customary domestic responsibilities. 7 The home, where gender inequality begins and is reinforced, can remain policy. Also, the economies of rural communities function effectively on -- Nthe basis of a distinct division of labor that is based on sex. Rural economies for the most part still rely on traditional farming arrangements, whereby it is the males who supervise animal-drawn ploughs or drive tractors, and it the females who do the planting and harvesting, as well as the managing of the household. Gender equality is easier to advocate and implement in urban areas, where farming is not the means of subsistence and resources are in relative abundance. Further, historically in societies where liberation has been achieved, national leaders, who predominantly were male, spoke unequivocally on race equality, ostensibly because it benefited more: members of the societies, but were largely silent on gender issues. Thus in South Africa, one has not heard any statement of serious concern about gender inequality from any leader. The prevailing sentiment is that issues of race still dominate and deserve top priority. It is axiomatic that women who in various ways had participated Voting symbolized their still have to serve their own homes. ‘ G ENDER AND NATION-BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA in resistance against unpopular giemselves relegated to the margins, omestlc sphere. Why is this so? A possible answer- The mobilization of women durin gjfipe‘naéional liberation is usually annulled after this has b e , and the number of women who continue to participating;l political power in theorization and d ’ ' , ‘ . ec1sion-makin ' One reason for this is the fact that although women Igjalit‘icegasfreldailfi Struggles in large numbers th 1 of strategy to the male explertg; 8ft the development of theory and g the struggle that is necessary to In the press of dail ' ' ' y act1v1t1es, they overlook o themselves, to be decision-makers — r me so. Accordin 1 , the ' Sphere g y y are not equip It is imperative that more women public sphere. Formal educati ' - . on prov1des women ‘ ' ‘ ' ex em ‘ . . . With s ec1f1 Frigates: llitefrormHal education can instill the motivation to rhove 1:: kill??? CO unp Me. kiscthrically, women have played an important rolz inl (I mm ty or , urch Work, and school committees. These are somZCgf p O acquire the skills required in the Africa is the exception; . its informal ‘ - particular black women. SECtor ls dommated by women' in Government policies that promote the informal en by increasing the' ' ‘ - 1r earmn ca ' ’ Improved mcomes would In turn increase their bar 'paflty' women S household dut1es which pumic life would enable women’s greater part1c1pation in Conclusion doubly handicapped. Some expressed their con I da : th dition pointed] ' y ey voted, and now have a government of their choice. Th): filial-1K3 plpjlitical maturity and fulfillment. However some w te masters for a living, as well as manage their governments, at independence found if not pushed back into the private 0 4 ‘7 i glect the need to prepare 13 or are not given opportunities to do ped for advancement in the public— ZENGIE A. MANGALISO Although the current ANC-led government speaks progressively on gender issues and has taken some steps toward gender equality in society, there is a long road ahead. Admittedly, the ravages of apartheid make racial equality more pressing than any other aspects of equality. Still, it cannot be assumed that women’s meaningful participation in society will be a by-product of democracy for all. This has not happened even in x 4 socialist countries with clearly articulated principles of equalityMs meaningful involvement in society has to be addressed within governmenth ‘ Women’s?)fg’afiiatfinsm'theficiefifaflarge. ‘ . new terrificrifl,» 7 WM» . “2. , . 442,4.” NOTES 1 The Constitutional Assembly charged with writing the permanent South African Constitution (completion deadline May 1996), released a first draft and solicited comments and input from the general citizenry. 2 The use of the terms sex and gender highlights the prohibition of discrimination based on biological and cultural factors that prescribe men and women’s positions in society. 3 The Anglo-Boer War arose out of the conflict between the British and the Afrikaners, the latter group then referred to as Boers, over the discovery of and access to diamond mines. The war also turned out to be a conflict between the two white groups for control over African land and labor. See Anne McClintock, ’Family Feuds: Gender, Nationalism, and the Family,’ Feminist Review, no. 44 (summer 1993): 62—80. ' 4 Ibid. 5 James Leatt, Theo Kneifel, and Klaus Nurnburger, eds, Contending Ideologies in South Africa (Cape Town, 1986). 6 McClintock, ’Family Feuds.’ I 7 The benefits enjoyed by Afrikaner women were extended to white women in general. To my mind, this condition makes a coalition between white: and black women in South Africa an uneasy one, if not problematic. Despite this problem, however, it needs to be acknowledged that there are white 1 women who have used their privileged position and mobilized to challenge the oppressive laws of South Africa, including labor and pass laws that perpetuated the oppression of maids. One organization of such white women ‘ is the Black Sash. McClintock, 'Family Feuds.’ PAC Manifesto, 1962 (abridged). _ Frene Ginwala, ’ANC Women: Their Strength in the Struggle,’ Work in 1 Progress, no. 45 (1986): 10—11. i 11 Cheryl Walker, Women and Gender in Southern Africa to 1945 (Cape Town: David Phillip, 1990); Ivy Matsepe Casaburri, 'On the Question of Women in South Africa,’ in Whither South Africa, ed. Bernard Magu V (Trenton, N]: Africa World Press, 1988) ; Julia Wells, We Now Demand! The History of Women ’5 Resistance to Pass Laws In South Africa (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1993). g i V, 12 M. Sutcliffe, ’The Crisis in South Africa: Material Conditions and Reformis Response’ (paper presented to he workshop Macroeconomic Policy I Poverty in South Africa, Cape Town, 29—30 August 1986; ]o Beall, Shiree'n COG) GENDER AND NATION—BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA Hassim and Alison Todes ’A Bit on th ' , _ , Side? Gender Stru l ' ' ’ of Transfonn u . _ I e ' ' . gg es 1n the P011th 32—56. a on in South Africa, Feminist Review, no. 33 (autumn 1989J 1: glaseibigri,t;0n th:1 Question of Women in South Africa ’ e1 a as ’ ' ' ' ' ‘ 1990). ow, e ., Who 5 Who in South African Politics (New York: Hans Zefi 15 Barbara Klugman ’Women in Pol' ' _ ,I . itics Under Apartheid: A Chall 11:11:}; 30(111It2vfif11'11ca,(1\1}n Women and Politics Worldwide, ed. Barbara 13350? at: 16 Ibid. ry ew Haven: Yale Umversity Press, 1994). 17 Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s s ' I . peeches, varlous dates, uoted in Shi ' 1\ljlarruly, Motherhood, Zulu Nationalism: Tile Politics drift: IIinaljslhr ovement s Brlgade, Feminist Review, no. 43 (spring 1993): 1—77 a 18 Praisley Mdluli, ’uBuntu—b th ' ’ ' Public Address no. 5, 1987- o 0. Inkatha People 5 Education Tranformatiom 19 Hassim ’Family Motherhood andZ ' , I , . , ulu Nat10 li .’ 3(1) ‘Igugmarn, Women 1n Politics Under Apartheidrl’al sm omen 5 Charter; see Appendix, Cherryl Walker, Women and Resistance in South Africa (Londo : On 22 Ibid‘ n yx Press, 1982). 23 Zola S. T. Skweyiya, 'Constitutional Guidelines of the ANC: A Vita Contribution to the Struggle Against Apartheid,’ Sechaba 23, no. 6 (1989): 5—16: 24 M. Mies, Fightin on Two Pr t ' ’ Institute of SOCiag studies, 1908112 Women s Struggles and Research (The Hague ...
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Mangaliso Gender and Nation Building in South Africa - MARY...

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