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‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’ – You strike the women, you strike the rock.
From the construction of gender under apartheid South Africa, to the impact of the pass laws, this book examines how history has shaped the conditions of women today. The book contributes to and extends the narrative of gender issues beyond the women’s march of 1956, and highlights and celebrates the important ways in which women have organised and continue to work around these socio-economic issues.
Indigenous societies that are steeped in patriarchy have various channels through which they deal with abusive characteristics of relations in some of these communities. One such route is through songs, which sanction women to voice that which, bound by societal expectations, they would not normally be able to say. This book focuses on the nature of women’s contemporary songs in the rural community of Zwelibomvu, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal. It aims to answer the question ‘Bahlabelelelani – Why do they sing?’, drawing on a variety of discourses of gender and power to examine the content and purposes of the songs.
Restricted by the custom of hlonipha, women resort to allusive language, such as is found in ukushoza, a song genre that includes poetic elements and solo dance songs. Other contexts include women’s social events, such as ilima, which refers to the collective activity that takes place when a group of women come together to assist another woman to complete a task that is typically carried out by women. During umgcagco (traditional weddings) and umemulo (girls’ coming-of-age ceremonies), songs befitting the occasion are performed. And neighbouring communities come together at amacece to perform according to izigodi (districts), where local maskandi women groups may be found performing for a goat or cow stake.
The songs, when read in conjunction with the interviews and focus group discussions, present a complex picture of women’s lives in contemporary rural KwaZulu-Natal, and they offer their own commentary on what it means to be a woman in this society.
Hermann Giliomee, pre-eminent South African historian, dissects the forces that shaped the Afrikaners into an unusual ‘maverick African’ nation.
He analyses long-term forces like the powerful legal position of Afrikaner women, the expanding frontier, and the struggles about race inside the church, along with more recent political history.
The power of structural violence is that it tries to silence us. The power of feminism is that it gives us a voice. So much of our life experience is filtered through our bodies – norms, myths, and cultural standards continue to shape the way that we and the world feel about our bodies and how we see ourselves.
Feminism says these rules are bullshit. Our bodies can be tools to conform or a way to resist. Feminism is necessary to help us learn and unlearn things about ourselves and the world we live in. Feminism is for all of us, for every single body.
This collection take us from an examination of skin and hair, to an exploration of pleasure, sex, and safety. They explore the way our bodies change, our health, and how we become who we are. They examine the way that institutions can trap us, how we can trap ourselves, and the importance of our hearts in all of this.
What do African feminist traditions that exist outside the canon look and feel like? What complex cultural logics are at work outside the centres of power? How do spirituality and feminism influence each other? What are the histories and experiences of queer Africans? What imaginative forms can feminist activism take?
Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa is the first collection of essays dedicated to contemporary Black South African feminist perspectives. Leading feminist theorist, Desiree Lewis, and poet and feminist scholar, Gabeba Baderoon, have curated contributions by some of the finest writers and thought leaders. Radical polemic sits side by side with personal essays, and critical theory coexists with rich and stirring life histories. By including writings by Patricia McFadden, Panashe Chigumadzi, Sisonke Msimang, Zukiswa Wanner, Yewande Omotoso, Zoë Wicomb and Pumla Dineo Gqola alongside emerging thinkers, activists and creative practitioners, the collection demonstrates a dazzling range of feminist voices.
The writers in these pages use creative expression, photography and poetry in eclectic, interdisciplinary ways to unearth and interrogate representations of Blackness, sexuality, girlhood, history, divinity, and other themes. Surfacing is indispensable to anyone interested in feminism from Africa, which its contributors show in vivid and challenging conversation with the rest of the world. It will appeal to a diverse audience of students, activists, critical thinkers, academics and artists.
Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, this major international collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture.
Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Busby’s groundbreaking anthology Daughters Of Africa illuminated the “silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women” (Washington Post). Published to international acclaim, it was hailed as “an extraordinary body of achievement… a vital document of lost history” (Sunday Times). New Daughters Of Africa continues that mission for a new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe with numerous South African contributors. Key figures join popular contemporaries in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honours the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles women writers of colour face as they negotiate issues of race, gender and class, and confront vital matters of independence, freedom and oppression.
Custom, tradition, friendships, sisterhood, romance, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender, race, and identity—all and more are explored in this glorious collection of work from over 200 writers. New Daughters Of Africa spans a wealth of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humour, politics, journalism, essays and speeches—to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women.
New Daughters Of Africa features a number of well-known South African contributors including Gabeba Baderoon, Nadia Davids, Diana Ferrus, Vangile Gantsho, Barbara Masekela, Lebogang Mashile and Sisonke Msimang.
As lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex identities increasingly secure legal recognition across the globe, these formal equality gains are contradicted by the continued presence of violence. Such violence emerges as a political pressure point for contestations of identity and power within wider systems of global and local inequality. Discourses of homophobia-related violence constitute subjectivities that enact violence and that are rendered vulnerable to it, as well as shaping political possibilities to act against violence. Blackwashing Homophobia critiques prevailing discourses through which violence and its targets are normatively understood, exploring the knowledge regimes in which multiple forms of othering are both reproduced and/or resisted.
This book draws on primary research on lesbian subjectivity and violence in South Africa examining the intersections of sexual, gender, race and class identities, and the contemporary politics of violence in a postcolonial context:
The book explores these questions and their implications for how violence, as an instrument of power, might be countered. Blackwashing Homophobia is a timely intervention for theorising the discourse of homophobia-related violence and what it reveals and conceals, enables and hinders, in relation to queer identities and political imaginaries in times of violence. The book's interdisciplinary approach to the topic will appeal to social and political scientists, philosophers and psychology professionals, as well as to advanced psychology undergraduates and postgraduates alike.
200 women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like “What really matters to you?” and “What would you change in the world if you could?” Interviewees include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor and human rights activist Alfre Woodard, and Nobel laureate Jodi Williams, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image — and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive travelling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.
Local interviewees include Graça Machel, Caster Semenya, Zelda la Grange, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Hlubi Mboya, Sahm Venter, Joanne Fedler, Ingrid le Roux, Gillian Slovo and Zoleka Mandela, among others.
A minimum of 10% of the project’s revenue will be distributed to organisations devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Each interviewee can nominate an organisation (or themselves if they are in financial need) to receive their portion of the charitable pool or they can select the principal charitable partner, the Graça Machel Trust.
The presidential campaign in the USA grabbed the global imagination. It also grabbed the feminist imagination, presenting the hope that if a woman could become the president of the USA, women throughout the world would finally break through the reinforced glass ceiling. However, when it didn’t happen, the lost opportunity became the metaphorical kick in the feminist gut on a global scale. Through the subsequent misogyny, vulgarity, lewd comments, the pussy grabbing video, and the threats of the erosion of feminist activism in the trenches, worldwide a deep mourning arose from the feminist community. It was the name calling of “nasty women” that really smarted. Initial feelings of anger gave rise to empowerment of women — those who talk back to patriarchy — to embrace the label of “nasty women”.
The idea for the collection was born, cradled and nurtured between friends who wanted to create a space for writing and thinking about the marches. The group of feminists who contributed to this collection used the marches and the posters inspired by the marches as a vehicle which galvanised women into action to put pen to paper and show fervour for ongoing feminist activism.
The nexus of this beautifully written and evocatively illustrated collection is telling narratives that link very personal stories with deeply political issues. These are the stories told by nasty women who are making the personal political, who are seeking to live their lives in ways that resist and challenge patriarchy. Through their very intimate nature these are stories that speak to the creation of a different kind of social order, one based on equity, the promotion of human rights and social justice.
A message for today’s women – it is time for you to step into your starring role.
Being empowered is a choice; it is a daily decision that defines who we are and it is accessible to everyone. Meeting Your Power is a reminder that power is inside all of us, and that your journey to empowerment begins with you!
This is the story of two remarkable women, DJ Zinhle and Nokubonga Mbanga, who have experienced life’s ups and downs. They share the lessons learnt on their life journeys through inspirational words - words that will invoke your inner power, words that will help you return home to your essence, and words that will encourage you to return to the source of your power, the power that we are all born with.
Being an empowered woman is more than just doing, it is also about being. This book will show you how to look at power differently and will help you to unleash and harness your inner power with honest, simple and practical examples and advice. Most importantly, you will learn that your greatest empowerment project is being authentically you, every day. Prepare to meet your power and radiate your possibilities. Let’s ignite a movement of women and girls who understand the higher meaning of love for oneself and others, who appreciate and celebrate our collective growth; who nurture a solid mindset of achievement and who value creating, protecting and preserving our inner peace.
Rise and Raise!
A deeply moving and powerful biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo – better known as Khwezi – the woman the ANC tried to forget.
In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’. Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. In the aftermath of the trial, which saw Zuma acquitted, Khwezi was vilified by his many supporters and forced to take refuge outside of South Africa.
Ten years later, just two months after this protest had put Khwezi’s struggle back into the minds and hearts of South Africans, Khwezi passed away … But not before she had slipped back into South Africa and started work with Redi Tlhabi on a book about her life. How as a young girl living in ANC camps in exile she was raped by the very men who were supposed to protect her; how as an adult she was driven once again into exile, suffering not only at the hands of Zuma’s devotees but under the harsh eye of the media.
In sensitive and considered prose, journalist Redi Tlhabi breathes life into a woman for so long forced to live in the shadows. In giving agency back to Khwezi, Tlhabi is able to focus a broader lens on the sexual abuse that abounded during the ‘struggle’ years, abuse which continues to plague women and children in South Africa today.
Rosie Motene's story is about a young girl born to the Bafokeng nation during the apartheid era in South Africa.
At the time, Rosie’s mother worked for a white Jewish family in Johannesburg who offered to raise the child as one of their own. This generous gesture by the family created many opportunities for Rosie but also a trail of sacrifices for her parents. As she grew, Rosie struggled to find her true identity.
She had access to the best of everything but as a black girl she floundered without her own culture or language. This book describes Rosie’s journey through her fog of alienation to the belated dawning of herself discovery as an African.
Do you call yourself a feminist? What does this mean in your daily life?
In this book, South African feminists explore their often vastly different experiences and perspectives in accessible and engaging voices. Feminism Is touches on issues as wide-ranging as motherhood, anger, sex, race, inclusions and exclusions, the noisy protest and the quiet struggle.
It will challenge your thinking and inspire you to action, reaffirming the urgent necessity of feminism in South Africa today.
While some women seem to excel at making their money work for them, others battle from pay day to pay day. With this book, we tap into what these ‘smart women’ know that the rest of us can learn from.
Smart Woman will provide the necessary insights into how our personal view of money impacts on our financial behaviour and decisions; reveal who is competing for our money (retailers, online marketers, etc.); and look at why it is so hard to find money to invest (the first step to getting rich is having money to invest – money makes money). It also covers how major life events, such as marriage and divorce, impact on us and how we can make smart financial decisions at these times.
Smart Woman will show the reader how she can take control of her financial life by spending smarter, tackling debt and setting goals. It explains how money is made and how the financial markets work, as well as the universal principles behind growing wealth, irrespective of where one invests.
A must-read for every woman, at any age, who is serious about building wealth and obtaining financial independence.
For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: if you want to lift a society up, invest in women.
Candid and inspiring, in The Moment Of Lift, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to 'turbo-charge' change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference. Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether and when to have children, Gates took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning. That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.
Throughout, Gates introduces us to her heroes in the movement towards equality, offers startling data, shares moving conversations she’s had with women from all over the world – and shows how we can all get involved.
A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates’ journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world’s foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equality is the lever that lifts everything.
Across the world, 2 billion experience menstruation, yet menstruation is seen as a mark of shame. We are told not to discuss it in public, that tampons and sanitary pads should be hidden away, the blood rendered invisible. In many parts of the world, poverty, culture and religion collide causing the taboo around menstruation to have grave consequences. Younger people who menstruate are deterred from going to school, adults from work, infections are left untreated. The shame is universal and the silence a global rule.
In It's Only Blood, Anna Dahlqvist tells the shocking but always moving stories of why and how people from Sweden to Bangladesh, from the United States to Uganda, are fighting back against the shame.
Reflecting Rogue is the much anticipated and brilliant collection of experimental autobiographical essays on power, pleasure and South African culture by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, author of the bestelling Rape: A South African Nightmare.
In her most personal book to date, written from classic Gqola anti-racist, feminist perspectives, Reflecting Rogue delivers fourteen essays of deliciously incisive brain food, all extremely accessible to a general critical readership, without sacrificing intellectual rigour.
This groundbreaking, multi-genre anthology answers the question: what did the literary landscape look like in South Africa at the start of the twenty-first century?
It documents a slice of this landscape by bringing together the writings of over twenty contributors through literary critique, personal essays and interviews. The book tells the story of the seismic shift that transformed national culture through poetry and is the first of its kind to explore the history and impact of poetry by Black women, in their own voices. It straddles disciplines: literary theory, feminism, history of the book and politics – thus decolonising literary culture.
Our Words, Our Worlds covers expansive reflections: from the international diplomacy-transforming poem, ‘I Have Come to Take You Home’ by Diana Ferrus, to the pioneering publisher duduzile zamantungwa mabaso; from the self-confessed closeted poet Sedica Davids, to the fiery unapologetic feminist Bandile Gumbi; from the world-renowned Malika Ndlovu, to the engineer and award-winning Nosipho Gumede; from the formidable foursome Feela Sistah, to feminist literary scholars V.M. Sisi Maqagi and Barbara Boswell. The collective contributions are a testimony to the power of creativity and centrality of poetry in a changing society.
This book is an assertion of Black women’s intellectual prowess and – as Gabeba Baderoon puts it – black women’s visions of ‘a world made whole by their presence’.
At the opening of South Africa's first democratic parliament in 1994, newly elected president Nelson Mandela issued a clarion call to an unlikely group: white Afrikaans women, who during apartheid occupied the ambivalent position of being both oppressor and oppressed. He conjured the memory of poet Ingrid Jonker as `both an Afrikaner and an African' who `instructs that our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child'. More than two decades later, the question is: how have white Afrikaans-speaking women responded to the liberating possibilities of constitutional democracy?
With Afrikaner nationalism in disrepair, and official apartheid in demise, have they re-imagined themselves in opposition to colonial ideas of race, gender, sexuality and class?
Sitting Pretty explores this postapartheid identity through the concepts of ordentlikheid, as an ethnic form of respectability, and the volksmoeder, or mother of the nation, as enduring icon. Issues of intersectionality, space, emotion and masculinity are also investigated.
At just 17, Fatima Meer threw herself into resisting racism, her first public act of defiance in a long and pioneering political life. Despite assassination attempts, she persevered on the courageous path she had chosen.
In this intimate memoir, Fatima Meer shares her story of growing up and of love, joy, longing and loss. As Meer open-heartedly reflects on her regrets as well as her triumphs, an enchanting tale emerges of a rebellious, revolutionary woman who never shied away from the truth.
From the New York Times bestselling author of I'm Judging You, a hilarious and powerful book that talks about how to tackle fear--that everlasting hater--and live boldly and audaciously in spite of all the reasons we have to cower.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones is known for her trademark wit, warm voice, and exceptional integrity. But even she's been challenged by the enemy of progress known as fear. She was once afraid to call herself a writer because she was afraid of the title. She nearly skipped out on doing a TED talk that changed her life because of imposter syndrome. Also, she's deathly afraid of bugs. And, as she shares in Professional Troublemaker, she's not alone.
We're all afraid of asking for what we want because we're afraid of hearing "no." We're afraid of being different, of being too much or not enough. We're afraid of leaving behind the known for the unknown. But in order to do the things that will truly, meaningfully change our lives, we have to become professional troublemakers: people who are committed to not letting fear talk them out of the things they need to do or say. With humor and honesty, and guided by the influence of her inspiring and professional troublemaking grandmother, Funmilayo Faloyin, Luvvie walks us through what we must get right within ourselves before we can do the things that scare us; how to use our voice for a greater good; and how to put movement to the voice we've been silencing--because truth-telling is a muscle.
The point is not to be fearless. It is to know we are afraid and to charge forward regardless, to recognize the things we must do are more significant than the things we are afraid to do. This book shows you how she's done it, and how you can, too.
Women Don't Owe You Pretty will tell you to... love sex, hate sexism, protect your goddamn energy, life is short, dump them, and that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty.
Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.
Women Don't Owe You Pretty is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we're either not enough or too much, it's time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to reshape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.
Florence's book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms.
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Award winning novelist Karin Cronje has established herself as a fearless writer unafraid to expose issues usually considered off limits. There Goes English Teacher, which spans three years of adventures and misadventures as an English teacher in a small Korean village and later at a university, continues her pursuit of truth. This unusually honest memoir reflects amongst others, the nature of identity and the loss of it; sexuality; belief; ageing; displacement; belonging; and nationhood. Karin Cronje has a real talent for tongue-in-cheek observations of herself and her world. Her accounts of her own confusion and incomprehension as she navigates the collision of two cultures worlds apart are told with a mix of irony, pathos and humor. Yet underneath the lighthearted narration this intimate account shows how a disruption of the familiar can lead to fundamental change.
What further sets this memoir apart is that it is as close to first-hand as a reader may possibly ever get. Karin Cronje seldom allows us out of her head; she doesn’t give us anything like a travel writer’s perspective, a dispassionate description of landscape or exterior view. We inhabit this foreign place exactly as she did. Whilst in Korea, she completed a novel, which won the Jan Rabie/Rapport prize. She takes us with her through the various stages of writing it and we experience her internal processes that lead to an end she was unable to predict. Her return to South Africa poses unforeseen troubles. We are right there with her as she makes one disastrous and scandalous decision after another.
There Goes English Teacher is ultimately a celebration of the gifts the world has to offer while it entertains with a sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes acerbic and ironic, but always humane voice. There are few South African memoirs that dig as deeply into what it means to be fully human. It is a compelling, moving story, unusually told and one that will not only linger long after finishing the book but will demand a second slower read to savour the writing.
Helen Zille’s long-awaited autobiography is one of the most fascinating political stories of our time.
Zille takes the reader back to her humble family origins, her struggle with anorexia as a young woman, her early career as a journalist for the Rand Daily Mail, and her involvement with the End Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash. She documents her early days in the Democratic Party and the Democratic Alliance, at a time when the party was locked in a no-holds-barred factional conflict. And she chronicles the intense political battles to become mayor of Cape Town, leader of the DA and premier of the Western Cape, in the face of dirty tricks from the ANC and infighting within her own party.
This is a story about political intrigue and treachery, floor-crossing and unlikely coalitions, phone tapping and intimidation, false criminal charges and judicial commissions. It documents Zille’s courageous fight against corruption and state capture and her efforts to realign politics and entrench accountability. And it describes a mother’s battle to raise children in the pressured world of South African politics.
This book is as frank, honest and unflinching as Helen Zille herself, and will appeal to anyone interested in the story of South African politics over the past fifty years.
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