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ANC Women’s League (Barbara Ntobedzi and Frene Ginwala)
Your story is quite different from the ANC Executives who lead your national organization. While they have been absent from South Africa for much of the past two decades, you have remained in the thick of things, resolutely confronting the injustices of apartheid and gender discrimination on a daily basis. While you have obtained a good education and you have a job that pays a decent wage, you grew up in Soweto. There your mother had to make difficult choices. She received only a primary school education and she has a functional literacy, meaning that she can read enough to buy goods at the markets and read an occasional newspaper. Through her, you know what it means to have to leave early for work as a housekeeper in an affluent Johannesburg neighborhood, cleaning and cooking for long hours every day, always expected to respond with courteous submission to the fickle expectations of the white family, only to come home late and have to tend to the needs of her own household. It was hard for her to know what her children did each day, how they behaved, or even how they were doing in school because of her long work days, but she had no other option – her husband, your step-father, was detained several times without charge and as a result struggled to hold a single job. For much of your youth, he was living in Ciskei as a result of an official deportation. He rarely had work there and so he sent little to nothing home to help your mother.
You have been active in the ANC for a long time, but over the past decade you have been moved by deeper reflection on questions of justice to become an important behind the scenes actor in the Women’s League. All too often, the men of the organization use rhetoric and caste justice mainly as eliminating racial barriers,and some outside the ANC want to replace white rule with black. . But you see justice as changing the landscape also for gender equality. You need to remind your comrades and others at the MPNP that the Freedom Charter they use as their blueprint for South Africa’s future, clearly states:
“The People Shall Govern! Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws;
“All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country;
“The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or sex”
From your childhood, you have observed how wives, mothers and sisters have played key roles in decision-making in their households and communities. They have been obliged to defer to men in public, however, even though these very men regularly consult their womenfolk in private for guidance, wisdom, and even forecasting the future. The day is coming, however, for women in South Africa, to be part of the public debate and assume roles of political leadership at the highest levels. With an ANC-led government, you are confident that women will be prominent in parliament, as cabinet ministers, and as members of the provincial assemblies and administrations. The MPNP is your opportunity to make women’s voices heard For decades women like you have been engaged in the struggle against apartheid and sexism.
The Women’s League spear-headed the ANC to include“non-sexist” as one of the components in its proposed constitution. And in CODESA it joined forces with others in the National Women’s Coalition to draft the Women’s Charter and create the pressure that required each delegation to be made up equally of women and men. Although most women in the League are educated and seek opportunities in a future government and in business, you are aware that many, especially the poor and youth want to see radical changes that affect their lives. Among your ranks is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the estranged wife of Nelson Mandela, and accused of criminal acts in the late 1980s. She has become a radical who campaigns in the townships and the squatter camps, accuses ANC leaders of selling out black South Africa by cow-towing to the National Party, and calls for a radical transformation of South Africa, with violence if necessary. You share the moderate views of your NEC comrades, so your challenge will be to deal with radical views expressed at the MPNP that use Winnie’s popularity in the townships to brand you a sell-out.
You therefore have goals in addition to the shared ANC goals.
Essential To have inclusive language written into the Statement on Human Rights.
Inclusion of sexual orientation in the Statement on Human Rights
To find a reliable mechanism to prevent gender discrimination in the governance
of South Africa.
Find a way to speak openly in support of the positions taken by members of the
ANC Youth League, and COSATU,. This will help to keep your more radical members from leaving the ANC.
New constitution does not include any special statement or document on human
Inclusive language is not used throughout the constitution.
Once during the game, you can call for a demonstration to revitalize the Women’s Coalition of South Africa. It would gather in central Johannesburg and march on Kempton Park. The Women’s Coalition is a multi-party consortium of women seeking specifically to promote women’s rights. It is hosted by the ANC Women’s League (meaning that the WL is the only party that can call the Coalition to a demonstration), but it can include any other female characters in the game, regardless of party. You can use this demonstration to pressure the ANC Executives, the MK, COSATU, and the NIC to include gender equality in the constitution. A die roll will determine the success (size) of the call for a demonstration. The size of the demonstration will determine the effect it has. What the inclusion of gender equality in the constitution means can be determined by you. Does it mean simply stated legal equality? Would it require specific equity policies similar to those in other countries like the United States (Equal Opportunity, Title IX)? Might it mean establishing gender quotas, just as has been done for the MPNP itself? You will need to consider and discuss with others the conceptual and political implications of all of these options.
If the Gamemaster has the MPNP decide on a set of Constitutional Principles to guide the deliberations, your most important task is to get them to make gender equality a central feature of the new South Africa.
Make certain that all issues before the MPNP, as they relate to women, are addressed. If you don’t bring up women, the likelihood is that no one else will. As ANCWL member Frene Ginwala reminded you, “how are a bunch of men going to produce a non-sexist constitution?”
Fight for complete equality and all discrimination related to religion, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Natural (Ideological) Allies: ANC Youth League, Umkhonto we Sizwe, South African Communist Party, Natal Indian Congress, Congress of South African Trade Unions, Democratic Party,
Possible Partners: ANC Executives
is your opportunity to make women’s voices heard For decades women like you have been engaged in the struggle against apartheid and sexism.
The Women’s League spear-headed the ANC to include“non-sexist” as one of the components in its proposed constitution. And in CODESA it joined forces with others in the National Women’s Coalition to draft the Women’s Charter and create the pressure that required each delegation to be made up equally of women and men. Although most women in the League are educated and seek opportunities in a future government and in business, you are aware that many, especially the poor and youth want to see radical changes that affect their lives. Among your ranks is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the estranged wife of Nelson Mandela, and accused of criminal acts in the late 1980s. She has become a radical who campaigns in the townships and the squatter camps, accuses ANC leaders of selling out black South Africa by cow-towing to the National Party, a