The gender politics of the Namibian liberation struggle

The study The gender politics of the Namibian liberation struggle introduces women’s contributions against apartheid and their personal experiences.
Akawa, Martha
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Title: The gender politics of the Namibian liberation struggle
Author: Martha Akawa
Series: Basel Namibia Studies Series 13
Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien
Basel, 2014
ISBN 9783905758269 / ISBN 978-3-905758-26-9
Softcover, 17x24 cm, 230 pages, several photos, Text: English


'One Namibia, One Nation!' This slogan, one of the many chants of the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO of Namibia) during the liberation struggle, called on the whole nation to come together and fight the common enemy in order to liberate the country from the yoke of apartheid. The men, the youth, the elders and the women were to form a solid team to contribute to the struggle in many ways. Calling on the nation to unite as one was a crucial point as the fractures in society were seen as being caused by the racial divisions of apartheid and the ethnic divisions of Homeland politics. Nationalism was presented as a solution - i.e. 'Namibians' had to unite. Although class and gender divisions were perhaps not seen as the central issue in the struggle, the rhetoric and propaganda produced by the liberation struggle did seem to give the pursuit of greater gender equality and the opening of new opportunities for women a more central role. Women joined, participated and contributed in different ways to the attainment of the liberation struggle. This book is about those women.

Content: The gender politics of the Namibian liberation struggle

Preface by Advocate Bience Gawanas
Researching gender politics
Methodology and notes on sources
Themes and debates
"There can be no national liberation without the full participation of women"
Idealised struggle? Public and Visual Representations of Women
Women and the SWAPO Refugee Camps
Sexual Politics in the Camps
Education and Training
"All has not been won. Not everything has been lost": Women in post-independent Namibia