Change the world


In the month of May 2020, the Centre for women and gender studies (CWGS) will be looking at Women, Work and Mobility, to honour Workers’ Month but also raise questions around women’s work that continues to carry society through the COVID-19 period, mostly in the retail and health sector.

These discussions attempt to push us to think about mobility and movement during the time of lockdown as working class workers (mostly black women) are required to serve the community through the retail sector.

We trace the movement of women in our complex political history where African women’s bodies were supervised and regulated in entering the city by the colonial and apartheid state. These discussions will consider (among others), the politicisation of women’s bodies within the political space, gendered work and representations of women in media.

The centring of women’s work lives will allow us to speak on the continuities and disconnections with our histories across the continent.

The CWGS will share readings of the author ahead of the session and participants are able to engage with all those who have engaged the work with the reader.  

Fridays @13:00 on Zoom - Speakers for the month of May 2020 include:

8 May 2020, Dr Asanda Benya – The Invisible Hands Women in Marikana

15 May 2020, Athambile Masola – ‘Bantu Women on the Move’: Black Women and the Politics of Mobility in the Bantu World

22 May 2020, Dr Darlene Miller – New regional imaginaries in post-Apartheid Southern Africa – retail workers at a shopping mall in Zambia

29 May 2020, Prof Bridget Kenny: Conclusion Chapter-Retail Worker Politics, Race and Consumption in SA

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed society to re-imagine space, community, life and engagement in a different light.  The CWGS is therefore embarking on a journey of opening a space for engagement on some of the effects of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of the marginalised in our societies. Since the beginning of April, the CWGS has started having online seminars where we invite speakers to share some of their work with us. Past speakers include: Prof Pumla Gqola, Dr Nthabiseng Motsemme, Prof Sakhumzi Mfecane and Mthunzikazi.