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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place: Women, History and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Author:Stevenson, Judith
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:gender relations
national liberation movements
commissions of inquiry
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Ethnic and Race Relations
History and Exploration
Cultural Roles
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Politics and Government
Status of Women
Abstract:The war against apartheid in South Africa could not have been waged, let alone won, without the participation of women at every level. However, in the national memory and the construction of history women have been silenced. This paper focuses on the gendering of voices and silences in the production of the country's history by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). After it was observed that women were not coming forward to testify in front of male commissioners with male audiences, special hearings were held for women. The paper pays attention to two testimonies made by women, one of them Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. It shows how difficult is was for these women to have their voices heard. Despite the TRC's effort at creating a venue where women could come forward, many experiences have yet to be told. The reasons for this failure lie beyond simple arguments that men silence women. Women's political organizational styles tend to separate them from historical acknowledgement and sanctioned political significance. Notes, ref.