8 February 2018

South Africa: Gender Is Not a Single Issue Struggle


On 21 January 2018, in the town of Bredasdorp, Jodine Pieters' body was found raped and murdered at a limestone factory. The brutality of her death evoked painful memories of the cruel murder of Anene Booysen in 2013, and Sulnita Manho in 2016; both of whom resided in rural Bredasdorp.

Narratives about the broken community have emerged, once again, and its social ills have been laid bare for all to inspect and criticise. One missing point of critique, however, are the ways in which gender-based and sexual violence affects black and brown womxn, specifically, and how issues of race, class and gender are intrinsically interlinked.

As posited by Audre Lorde, an American writer, activist and feminist, "There is no [such] thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives." This strand of feminism aimed to illuminate the ways in which we, as complex and multifaceted beings, navigate our contexts and circumstances. It also recognised the need for an intersectional approach that would adequately consider and address the unique ways in which black womxn experience oppression.

Black womxn, and specifically, black Queer womxn, simultaneously face multiple discriminations; there is no hierarchy of...

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