The fifth study from the Women of Struggle, Women in Struggle series discusses the life and political struggles of Josie Mpama (1903–1979), a leader in the resistance against colonial oppression and the apartheid system in South Africa. As a central figure in the Communist Party of South Africa and in society more broadly, Josie teaches us about the importance of grassroots and mass organising. Like so many women involved in radical politics, particularly in the Global South, Josie’s extraordinary political contributions and theoretical acumen have been overlooked and largely excluded from then mainstream historical record.
This publication, from Tricontinental and ALBA Movimientos, sets out on a path to recover the history of struggles, resistance, insurrections,and revolutionary dreams that have been led by womenand LGBTQ+ people throughout the region at different times in order to find the seeds of the popular Latin American feminisms that exist today. Selected and produced by popular feminist activists in Latin America and the Caribbean, these stories continue to inspire us today.
Nela Martínez (1912–2004), Ecuadorian activist and fighter for the people, was a key figure in the struggles of the working class and women. A communist and internationalist militant, she participated in the formation of the Ecuadorian Federation of Indians and played a central role in the Glorious May Revolution. A member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ecuador, she led the creation of women’s organisations such as the Ecuadorian Women’s Alliance and the Revolutionary Union of Ecuadorian Women. Her political biography intertwines women’s struggles with anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist struggles.
This study looks at the life and legacy of Kanak Mukherjee, a fighter for the people and people’s struggles who was born in undivided Bengal, India, in 1921. The rich trajectory of her activism teaches us about the history of women organising in local, national, and international struggles that linked women’s rights to anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles throughout the twentieth century.
The world that we live in today is characterised by great social and political upheavals, with workers facing overwhelming attacks from neoliberal politics. The policies of neoliberalism and neofascism put immense pressure on women, who become the primary and principal targets of precariousness, oppression, and exploitation.