Women and the Remaking of Politics in Southern Africa: Negotiating Autonomy, Incorporation and Representation

By Gisela Geisler | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 2
Women's Participation in
Nationalist Movements and Liberation Struggles

Fighting Men's Wars

African women of differing backgrounds and educational attainments joined anti-colonial political movements after their inception across the continent often in the face of the resistance of men. Many sought their inspiration in their role as mothers, intent on working towards the betterment of society for their children. Whatever women's motives for joining nationalist struggles their fervour was, consciously or unconsciously, linked to the hope of gaining personal liberation. Whatever the ideology of the liberation movement, the level of participation, and the historical context, moving into the public arena of struggle resulted for women in increased self-confidence and sharpened skills in identifying aspects of their own oppression.

Nationalist movements and liberation struggles ultimately represented, however subtly, an opening of women's own radius of action, and a significant departure from their previous life. This has also meant that unlike their male comrades they started to question—however rudimentarily—prescribed gender roles. The leaders of early nationalist movements, by contrast, never even acknowledged women's specific gender interests, and the concessions made later on by the leaders of Marxist and socialist inspired movements were dictated by doctrine and strategic need rather than a willingness to question existing gender ideologies. It has therefore not been surprising that the changes of gender roles that marked the time of struggle remained largely time bound and rarely carried over into independent states.


Early nationalist movements:
In women lies “the total hope for progress”

Many of the women who joined nationalist movements in the 1950s were part of the new generation of urban African populations, who had developed lifestyles that were no longer strictly “traditional”, even though traditional values remained an ideal. Urban life had not only whetted women's appetite for consumer goods, and a longing for a middle-class social existence, but it had also equipped women to move beyond ethnic boundaries to a more trans-ethnic identity as Africans which helped them question the strictures of custom, and ‘traditional authority’. Because women pursued in some way or another a double agenda, seeking national and personal liberation, they were, in the words

-39-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Women and the Remaking of Politics in Southern Africa: Negotiating Autonomy, Incorporation and Representation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 241

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.