Women Delegates at the UDF Launch. Helen Joseph (left), Solomon Mahlangu’s mother (centre) and Amy Thornton (right), 1983

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The UDF Launch gathering was the biggest crowd of anti-apartheid groupings since the mass meetings of the Congress Alliance in the 1950s. The UDF had more than 1, 5 million supporters. It mobilised nationwide resistance, led a series of boycotts, and became involved in labour issues. Many women activists were banned and went in to exile, women who remained in South Africa began to establish women's organisations again and to align these to the newly-formed UDF, which was widely described as the 'ANC in disguise'. Women Delegates at the UDF Launch. Helen Joseph (left), Solomon Mahlangu's mother (centre) and Amy Thornton (right).