The Woman's League (ANC)

Claire Pellegrini

History

This group started as the Bantu Woman's League in 1931. About ten years later, the members officially became part of the ANC. Soon after this, the name was changed to African National Congress Woman's League (ANCWL). Unfortunately, women were not treated the same as men in the ANC until the 1980s.


Some important leaders from the ANCWL are Lilian Ngoyi and Charlotte Maxeke.


The group was forced to go underground in 1960 with the ANC. Women were gradually worked into ANC leadership. This group still exists today.

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Significance

This group took part in the Defiance Campaign and even created a Woman's Charter. The main things protested were education laws and pass laws. In 1956, the ANCWL participated in mass protests. This day (August 9) is now know as Woman's Day. The ANCWL got a whole different group involved in the fight against apartheid. Although they were not directly responsible for change, they hosted many rallies and petitions. They did eventually convince the ANC to change their goal for South Africa to "non-sexist".
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Woman's Charter: 1954

"Preamble: We, the women of South Africa, wives and mothers, working women and housewives, African, Indians, European and Coloured, hereby declare our aim of striving for the removal of all laws, regulations, conventions and customs that discriminate against us as women, and that deprive us in any way of our inherent right to the advantages, responsibilities and opportunities that society offers to any one section of the population."

Works Cited

Blackwell, Amy Hackney. "African National Congress Women's League." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO,2015. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.


"WOMEN’S LEAGUE." African National Congress Women's League. ANC, 2015. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.


Schadeberg, Jurgen. Women’s March to Pretoria 1955. 1955. National Woman's Day: The Day the Women Marched. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.


Schadeberg, Jurgen. Women’s March to Pretoria 1955. 1955. National Woman's Day: The Day the Women Marched. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.


"Woman's Charter." ANC. N.p., 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.