P02
Gendering the liberation: women´s ‘wars’ in post-independence, post-apartheid Southern Africa

Convenors:
Maria Paula Meneses (Coimbra University)
Iolanda Vasile (CES, Universidade de Coimbra)
Location:
B1 0.08
Sessions:
Friday 19 July, 9:30-11:00

Short abstract:

This panel welcomes interdisciplinary proposals about the public participation of women in a range of political and civil society activities, spanning from the early years of the outburst of the liberation movements in Southern Africa, the multiple roles played by women in the struggles, to their involvement in manifestations for equal rights for women, from a gender and race perspective, and the active support to democracy in the region.

Long abstract:

From the 1950s, women had a direct involvement in the liberation movements in Southern Africa. From the multiple female roles expected from them inside and outside the struggles, women had the capacity to challenge their place in history, and to give voice to their multiple and heterogeneous experiences and struggles. References such as Ruth First, Josina Machel, Deolinda Rodrigues and Winnie Mandela are well known. However, the ‘heroinas sem nome’, the anonymous heroines of the Sub-Saharan Africa, carried on the legacy of women's fight for liberation and self-determination beyond independence. They stand proof of women’s constant struggle for improving education, health, democratic participation and civil rights; the life of their families, communities and countries. This panel welcomes interdisciplinary proposals about the public participation of women in a range of political and civil society activities, spanning from the early years of the outburst of the liberation movements in Southern Africa, the multiple roles played by women in the struggles, to their involvement in manifestations for equal rights for women, from a gender and race perspective, and the active support to democracy in the region. We also encourage works on auto positionality, regarding the studies developed in collaboration with and about women in Southern Africa. We expect the use of new resources (archival, interviews, memoires), blended with innovative methodologies from a large span of cultural, literary, artistic, historical, and educational backgrounds. What we do with these heritages of the past? Are the diverse voices of women being represented? How can we decolonize and gender the discussions about the national liberation and liberation beyond independence in Southern Africa? These are just few of the questions that our panel hopes to address.