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Colby College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This study focuses on how gender roles and the Black identity affect Black women in present day social movements in Cape Town, South Africa. The goal of this project is to analyze how Black female students identify with the present day Black Consciousness Movement and their views on what roles women should engage in during social justice movements. Young Black women have forcefully been present in the current social movements such as Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall. These movements not only aim to tackle colonization, but also enforcing the inclusion of feminism and LGBTQ principles within the goals of the movements. The recent movement, Patriarchy Must Fall, puts an emphasize on ending gender inequality and Black women at the university have been engaging with the movements on the vision of an intersectional movement. Should the focus solely be on decolonization and then the violence towards gender and sexuality shall be left to question? Five Black female students express that this is not an option through personal narratives and through the utilization of their education at UCT. This study was conducted through methods of acquired conversations through snowballing at the University of Cape Town located in Rondebosch. These conversations are analyzed through the history of women’s involvement in social justice movements globally, the response to gender roles in African culture, and the effects of the marginalization of race. The aim of this research paper is to better understand why it is necessary for Black women to demolish gender oppression along with white supremacy, while still finding support in the Black community and with each other.


African Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Leadership Studies | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


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