Women in the Anti-Apartheid Movement

The immense contribution of women in the South African liberation struggle is too often overlooked and undervalued. This resource focuses on six women, representing the diversity of South African society, who were all engaged in the anti-apartheid struggle. Their stories illustrate, in part, the breadth of women’s activism in South Africa. Politically active between the 1950s and 1980s, these women collectively struggled against the repressive politics of the apartheid state, both from within South Africa – and occasionally – overseas.

While they had diverse political outlooks, and their activism was shaped by their race, class, nationality and location – each of these women were united in their commitment to challenge apartheid as a gendered system of racial control and played a significant role in shedding light on the devastating effect the policies of the National Party had on women, children and family structures.

Written with KS4 in mind, these resources are designed to be accessible and useful for KS5 and KS3 students alike and provide an example lesson plan for teachers wishing to use the resources in class (see Slide Deck).

Resource structure:

Introductory PDF

Womens’ Resources

Fact File PDF

Additional resources

This education pack has been developed collaboratively between the Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning and the University of East Anglia. Many of the images and linked documents are supplied with kind permission of project partners, The Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives. Other sources are referred to at the relevant places in the packs.

The development of the resources has been made possible with generous support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and UEA’s Impact Fund.