“you can’t effectively resist domination when you’re all messed up”
One thing I have learnt is that gender is central to every form of activism even when the cause does not appear to be explicitly gendered. In the RhodesMustFall movement we learnt this the hard way. When embarking on the project of decolonising the university, in our efforts to get rid of the hangovers from colonization and apartheid, we single mindedly targeted institutional structures. Initially we hadn’t centered violence against women. We had blind spots around gender politics, another hangover from identity politics in nationalist liberation movements.
As black women, we suffered erasure and violence in a movement we had birthed. We accepted that we would be the ones to toil, yet again, for the birth of a new politics of decolonisation. The issue of decolonising the university was very early identified as the issue of the black child within the South African context. The movement was a self-identifying Black conscious space and led for the education of the black majority in the country who remain marginalised and effectively excluded within the realm of higher learning.
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Author: Athinangamso Esther Nkopo
Source: GBV Prevention Network