Does feminism in South Africa exclude black voices?

Gender activists argue that the role of feminism in South Africa requires a focus on decolonising western ideals of women's position in society. It needs to acknowledge the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender known as intersectionality, to advance the cause.

These issues are made more relevant as South Africa observes Women's Day, lauding the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in protest against apartheid's Pass Laws.

The voices of feminist activists, Mbali Matandela, Professor Christie van der Westhuizen and Motlatsi Kgosi discuss the status of women in the country with listeners. Understanding privilege and intersectionality, debunking western literature as a universal truth and negotiating power in different spaces.

702/Cape Talk's Eusebius McKaiser (standing in for Redi Tlhabi) acknowledges the importance of allowing the conversation to flow freely without intervening as a man.

Listen below for the discussion:

It's important to acknowledge that there's been a focus on the Global North as the wellspring of feminism and what's good.

Prof Christie van der Westhuizen, University of Pretoria

Understanding that you're a black, middle class woman makes you understand a lot about your own experience. That's not exclusive to anyone.

Mbali Matandela, feminist activist and writer

It means that there are certain spaces where you are empowered and certain spaces where I am disempowered.

Motlatsi Kgosi, writer

This article first appeared on 702 : Does feminism in South Africa exclude black voices?


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