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Women

pic7602. Dulcie September at AAM Women’s Conference

Over 150 women attended an AAM conference on Women Under Apartheid on 24 April 1976. Speakers included Dulcie September and Joyce Sikakane from South Africa, Ethel de Keyser from the AAM, representatives of the NUS and the trade union AUEW (TASS), and Methodist Pauline Webb.

 
wom01. Women’s membership leaflet

From its formation in 1980 the AAM Women’s Committee stressed the role of South African women in opposing apartheid. This recruitment leaflet quotes the song sung by women on the Federation of South African Women’s anti-pass demonstration at the government buildings in Pretoria in 1956.

 
wom12. Caroline Motsoaledi

Caroline Motsoaledi was the wife of Andrew Motsoaledi, one of the accused in the Rivonia trial. She was held in detention and released without charge. This leaflet highlighted the situation of South African women who were arrested for questioning about their husband’s activities. Children were often left alone and uncared for when their parents were arrested.

 
wom14. Stop Apartheid Executions

The Sharpeville Six were sentenced to death in December 1985 because they were present at a protest where black collaborators were killed. One of the six was a woman, Theresa Ramashamola. After huge international protests the death sentences were commuted in July 1988.

 
wom17. ‘Women and Southern Africa’ conference

Programme for a conference on women organised by AAM women members and the North West Regional Council of the TUC in Liverpool.

 
wom19. Save Theresa Ramashamola!

Women from the ANC Women’s Section and AAM Women’s Committee demonstrated in support of Theresa Ramashamola on 9 March, to mark International Women’s Day. Theresa was one of the Sharpeville Six, who were sentenced to death in December 1985 because they were present at a protest where black collaborators were killed. After huge international protests the death sentences were commuted in July 1988.

 
wom21. Merseyside Women against Apartheid

Women on Merseyside set up a group to campaign for women in South Africa and Namibia in 1981, affiliated to the AAM and the SWAPO Women’s Solidarity Campaign. The group collected material aid for Namibian women refugees and material support for the ANC. In the 1980s women in many local AA groups set up women’s sub-committees or elected a women’s officer.

 
int44t. Pauline Webb transcript

Pauline Webb is a Methodist minister who began her career in the church’s Overseas Division and worked for the Methodist Missionary Society. In 1968 she attended the seminal Fourth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Uppsala, Sweden, which led to the setting up of the Programme to Combat Racism. She served as Vice-Moderator of the WCC and later became Head of Religious Programmes at the BBC World Service. She was a strong supporter of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and spoke at numerous meetings and conferences, including the AAM’s first women’s conference in 1976.  

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom history project in 2013.

 

 

 

 
int51t. Chitra Karve transcript

Chitra Karve was an Anti-Apartheid Movement staff member from 1986 to 1989 and helped organise the 1988 Nelson Mandela: Freedom at 70 campaign. She was a member of the AAM Women’s and Black Solidarity Committees, and was Chair of the latter. After the formation of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) in 1994 Chitra was elected to ACTSA’s Executive Committee. She is currently Chair of ACTSA.

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom history project in 2014.

 
wom02. AAM Women’s Workshop

This workshop for AAM women members encouraged them to join in the activities of the AAM Women’s Committee. The workshop discussed the role of the women within the AAM and how to make women’s voices heard on other AAM committees.

 
wom13. International Women’s Day

Leaflet advertising a picket of South Africa House on International Women’s Day, 1990. South Africa continued to hold hundreds of political prisoners and detainees, including many women, after the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990. The campaign for the release of all political prisoners was one of the priorities of the AAM in the early 1990s.

 
wom22. International Women’s Day concert

Many local AA groups organised women’s campaigns in solidarity with their sisters in Southern Africa. This leaflet advertised a women only concert orgaised by Sheffield AAM women members on International Women’s Day 1989 to raise funds for women in Southern Africa.

 
int28t. Jan Clements transcript

Jan Clements taught English as a volunteer in Angola. She was one of the founders of the Anti-Apartheid Women’s Committee and became the Secretary of the London Anti-Apartheid Committee, that coordinated the activities of local London AA groups. In 1984 she worked with Archbishop Trevor Huddleston on organising an interfaith colloquium on apartheid. She later joined the staff of the International Defence and Aid Fund, supporting the families of political prisoners in South Africa, and visited Robben Island in the early 1990s to assess the needs of prisoners on their release. She now works as a lawyer on the Guardian newspaper.

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom AAM history project in 2013.

 
wom15. Women’s Month of Action

In March 1989 the AAM held a month of anti-apartheid action on women. Women all over Britain held meetings, exhibitions and demonstrations outside supermarkets selling South African and Namibian products. The month had three themes: the collection of material aid for South African and Namibian women, freedom for women prisoners and the boycott of South African and Namibian products.

 
int51a2. Chitra Karve interview clip 2

Chitra Karve was an Anti-Apartheid Movement staff member from 1986 to 1989 and helped organise the 1988 Nelson Mandela: Freedom at 70 campaign. She was a member of the AAM Women’s and Black Solidarity Committees, and was Chair of the latter. After the formation of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) in 1994 Chitra was elected to ACTSA’s Executive Committee. She is currently Chair of ACTSA.

In this clip she recalls how the AAM Women’s Committee publicised the role played by women in opposition to apartheid within South Africa.

 
int51a2. Chitra Karve interview clip 2

Chitra Karve was an Anti-Apartheid Movement staff member from 1986 to 1989 and helped organise the 1988 Nelson Mandela: Freedom at 70 campaign. She was a member of the AAM Women’s and Black Solidarity Committees, and was Chair of the latter. After the formation of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) in 1994 Chitra was elected to ACTSA’s Executive Committee. She is currently Chair of ACTSA.

In this clip she recalls how the AAM Women’s Committee publicised the role played by women in opposition to apartheid within South Africa.

 
bdg04. AAM women’s badge

The AAM Women’s Committee produced this badge soon after its formation in the summer of 1980. 

 
wom03. Women’s resource pack

Resource pack showing how black women in South Africa and Namibia were doubly oppressed under apartheid by both racism and sexism. The pack also stressed the special problems of Namibian women.

 
wom04. Cabaret Night

In 1989 the AAM appointed a women’s organiser and held a month of anti-apartheid action on women in March. Women all over Britain held meetings, exhibitions and demonstrations outside supermarkets selling South African and Namibian products. This leaflet advertised a women’s cabaret evening held in Tottenham, north London to raise funds to buy a minibus for the ANC’s Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania.

 
wom08. Women’s membership leaflet

In 1989 the AAM appointed a women’s organiser and produced this leaflet to attract new women members. The leaflet highlighted the situation of South African and Namibian women and asked women in Britain to support the AAM’s ‘Boycott Apartheid 89’ campaign.

 
 
 
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