Black African Women's Motivations for Involvement in Southern African Liberation Struggles
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Since the introduction of colonialism, African women have frequently been ignored in and excluded from political life in southern Africa. However, many women participated as freedom fighters and activists in southern African liberation struggles. In this thesis, I analyze what initially motivated women to participate in their nation’s liberation struggle and what kept them motivated to remain despite their negative gendered experiences. Little attention has been paid in past research concerning what kept Black African women motivated to remain in southern African liberation struggles and the role coercion plays in mobilizing individuals. In order to discern this for myself, I collected 110 published interviews with and memoirs written by Black African women who were active in the liberation struggle of their country as combatants, political activist, and guerilla supporters. My analysis demonstrates that women’s motivations were twofold. First, women wanted liberation from colonialist national policies that repressed the Black African population as a whole. Second, colonialist and traditional African patriarchies were also obstacles women sought to overcome through participation in national liberation. Additionally, not all women joined out of their own volition; some women were coerced into joining the national liberation movements.
Jalufka, Alaina 1987- (2011). Black African Women's Motivations for Involvement in Southern African Liberation Struggles. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from