A Rock Strikes Back: Women's Struggles for Equality in the Development of the South African Constitution
In 1991, South African women’s organisations formed the Women's National Coalition (WNC) to identify and advocate for women's primary needs in the post-apartheid Constitution. The outcome of this advocacy was South Africa’s adoption, in 1996, of one of the most comprehensive protections of gender and sexuality rights of any national constitution. I argue that the WNC became a key actor in the development of the Constitution by drawing from a tradition of women’s organising in South Africa that emphasised women’s legitimacy in and value to public politics. The WNC rejected masculinist framings of politics and instead demanded that political structures change to be inclusive of and sensitive to women’s needs.
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