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‘Parliament is another terrain of struggle’: women, men and politics in South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2001

Gisela Geisler
Affiliation:
Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen

Abstract

South African women's success in moving from active participation in the liberation struggle to active participation in government has been exceptional on a world scale. Their achievement is based in the long history of women's struggles against apartheid and for gender equality in the African National Congress. The result has been a political representation that is grounded in the experience of a united women's movement in the transition to majority rule and a firm policy consensus towards gender equality within the ANC. This has enabled women politicians to entrench gender equality goals within government discourse. Yet, the success has come with the price of a women's movement that has lost its strong leaders to government, and women politicians who lack the support of a strong women's movement. Thus, in the moment of greatest victory South African women lack the mass movement that propelled them to success, suggesting that the struggle is not done with yet.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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