Gender Studies  

Women: South Africans of Indian Origin 150 Years of Struggle (Hardback)

Devi Rajab

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History continues to largely reflect narratives of victors. South African post-apartheid history has not escaped the risk of distortions and omissions that come from excluding critical voices and players in our struggle for democracy. This title steps into a critical gap in our understanding of our evolution into a society united in its diversity. Despite the centrality of gender equality in our human rights based National Constitution, women in South Africa continue to struggle to have their voices heard and their faces seen in public affairs. Their role in the struggle for freedom tends to be reduced to a support one despite their critical leadership in areas where men were afraid to go such as challenging the pass laws. Indian women are even less visible and audible given their demographic minority and cultural invisibility. The strength of this title lies in its focus on personal profiles of Indian women - giving them not only space to tell their stories, but to do so as individuals who are nested in very strong family, community and cultural networks. Their personal narratives take the reader into the heart, home and hopes of women often ignored in public discourse. These narratives also take us ever so gently into a rich cultural milieu - not just the rich smells of spices or the glittering jewellery - but lives textured beyond cliches of subservience and dominance. These are also narratives of resilience of a culture that transcended the humiliation of the system of indenture to thrive in a democracy. The social history captured in this title will add considerably to our understanding of ourselves as a society that draws its cultural heritage from so many parts of the world. India's rise as an economic giant and a mature democracy bears important lessons for us as a young democratic nation. We have the links to tap into those lessons - positive and negative - to inform our own development. Young women across all cultural groups have much to learn from the affirmation of Indian culture and its contribution to self-confidence and pride in ourselves as a people. Too many young people are losing the cultural anchors that should support and sustain them. Many others are focusing on fragments of threatened cultures to perpetuate conservative chauvinistic practices. Cultures evolve to meet the needs of rapidly changing complex global imperatives. Creative responses are essential to sustainability of our cultural heritage. Narratives in this book should make us proud to be South Africans and to salute our Indian women fellow citizens who have contributed so much to what we are today - a democratic vibrant South Africa.


Product Details

  • Product code: BEOUD
  • ISBN: 9781431401048
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Format: Hardback
  • Dimensions: 23.6cm x 25.3cm
  • Pages: 240
  • Publish date: Fri Apr 01 00:00:00 BST 2011
  • Book points: 20

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