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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Zenzele: African Women's Self-Help Organizations in South Africa, 1927-1998
Author:Higgs, Catherine
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:self-help associations
community development
women's organizations
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1514945
Abstract:The African Women's Self-Improvement Association and the Bantu Women's Home Improvement Association were founded in the eastern Cape Province of South Africa in the 1920s and 1930s by Christian, mission-educated black women who sought to improve the lives of rural African women by enhancing their subsistence farming and cooking skills and educating them about household cleanliness, basic child care and health care. Both organizations downplayed class and ethnic differences among their largely, but not exclusively, Xhosa-speaking membership. Unlike associations for African women in British colonial Africa, Zenzele ('self-help' in Xhosa), as the associations came to be called, did not evolve into political organizations. In the white-run segregated and apartheid States that persisted through 1994, Zenzele women did not engage in direct political action; rather, they sought to unite African women and focused their efforts on community development. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]