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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:(En)gendering the transition in South Africa: the role of COSATU women activists
Author:Tshoaedi, Malehoko
Periodical:Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa (ISSN 0258-7696)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:women workers
trade unions
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/transformation/v078/78.1tshoaedi.pdf
Abstract:COSATU women's participation in the Women's National Coalition (WNC) was critical and influential to the gendered outcomes of South Africa's transition in the early 1990s. COSATU women's history of struggle for gender equality within the labour movement throughout the apartheid era was fundamental to how they participated in the WNC and the issues they represented within this structure. Contrary to views held by some feminist writers on the South African transition, gender activism and feminist-oriented demands did not necessarily emerge as significant in the early 1990s. Throughout the 1980s, there were vibrant gender demands in the trade unions, though not necessarily framed in conventional feminist terms. Women workers' interests and demands during the transition period were informed by their lived experiences of gender discrimination in the workplace and within the labour movement. COSATU women's representation in the WNC, and their struggles within this structure for their voices to be heard as a working class formation, challenges the perception that the WNC and the gendered outcomes of the South African transition was a process mainly influenced by the 'elite'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]