Saturday, January 7, 2012

Remembering the Women of the ANC

From the Mail & Guardian:
As we reflect on 100 years of the ANC, we must also reflect on the years that preceded its formation and honour, acknowledge, celebrate and critique the heritage bequeathed to us.

In 1956 despite a strong ANC "recommendation" to the contrary, women led by the federation undertook their most risky operation -- the march to Pretoria to protest against the extension of pass laws to African women. The exchanges between women such as Lillian Ngoyi and the ANC's male leadership reveal a complex but mutually respectful relationship and sharp ideological contestations among equals.

In the decades between then and now much has changed in the ANC and in the country. Much too has changed in the manner in which women locate and use their political agency within the ANC.

The longest surviving liberation movement in Africa celebrates it's centenary confronted by major and fundamental contestations within its ranks and sometimes publicly displayed acrimonious differences within its leadership.

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