PresenterHIRALAL KALPANA - UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL, HISTORICAL STUDIES, DURBAN, South Africa
Panel03 – Changing Forms of Gendered Participation in Politico-ideological Movements in South Asia: Histories, Networks, (In)Visibilities
Both India and South Africa have dealt with one common factor: colonialism and oppression. In India, women’s resistance to British rule must be viewed in the context of the Reform Movement of the late 19th century and the political events that unfolded in the early twentieth century. In South Africa, women’s resistance, first against colonialism and later apartheid manifested itself in the Satyagraha campaigns of 1907-1913 and the Defiance and anti-pass campaign of the 1950s. Yet these women’s movements and resistance in India and South Africa were to impact each other, as their histories were inextricably linked and intertwined (the indenture system, Gandhi and Satyagraha, India’s support for the anti-apartheid movement). This paper examines women’s movements in India and South Africa, and how shared grievances and oppression led to collective bonds of sisterhood and feminist solidarity. It explores two key questions: How did the political and social milieu serve as a catalyst in raising the political consciousness of women in India and South Africa? How did it shape and define resistance and political ideologies and build collective and feminist solidarity across the continents? Historicizing these movements in countries that are similar in tradition, history, and political participation, provides insight into trans-regional, trans-continental gendered modes of resistance, ideological formations, and feminist solidarity in nationalist struggles.