The Situation of Women in a Changing South Africa

In this paper, delivered to the United Nation’s Centre for the Development and Advancement of Women in Geneva, Brigitte Mabandla provides an overview of the state of women’s rights in South Africa in 1991. She explains how women are organised and discusses the launch of the ANC Women’s League and other organisations promoting women’s rights. She also explains how the ANC underwent a change internally, coming to terms with understanding race, class and gender struggles. She discusses the role of Universities (the University of the Western Cape in particular) in conceptualising gender oppression. Finally, she provides an overview of those provisions in the ANC's draft Bill of Rights (1991) that protect women’s rights, ranging from equal rights, affirmative action and the ‘right to a home’.