The Mothers of New Nations


| August 14, 2000

The Mothers of New Nations
W hile their scars heal from years of bitter conflict, post-apartheid South Africans are brimming over with questions of power in the emerging social structure. As Antjie Krog in the Daily Mail and Guardian points out, both Afrikaner and black women fell victim to the violence of war in the 20th century: the former fighting British imperialism and the latter, after suffering for three centuries under colonialism and racism, waging civil war against official apartheid.

However, Afrikaner and black women have been taking very different paths to power. Where Afrikaner feminists historically have been stifled in their own communities, gaining no political or economic clout, black women of the African National Congress (ANC) have reaped the benefits of imposed quotas, which Krog describes as "one of the most important steps in empowering women and reconstructing a society after conflict."

"It is only when there is a flow of female power from grassroots to tree top," Krog writes, "that real change towards reconstruction can begin."
-- Amanda Luker Go there>>