This extensive history through pictures gallery documents the role that women have played in the liberation and democratisation of our country from 1900-present day. It has been published decade by decade.

The struggle for freedom and equality has its roots in the colonial period, but the South African struggle for women’s rights and equality mainly developed alongside the struggle for national liberation from White minority rule in the early 1900s. This struggle was greatly influenced by women’s roles in local socialist and anti-colonial movements, as well as by the suffrage movements in the West.

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However, it was not until the 1950s that the Women’s struggle really gained momentum. In fact the 1950s is often referred to as the ‘decade of the women’. The Women’s Anti-Pass Campaign and the Women’s Charter that was drawn up in the 1950s became the inspiration and benchmark around which decades of women struggled openly, underground and in exile until the realization of our democracy in 1994.

Collections in the Archives