Newsletters

wnl11. AAM Women’s Newsletter 11, Nov/Dec 1983

In November 1983 the AAM Women’s Committee and the ANC Women’s Section organised a meeting to publicise the impact of forced removals on South African women, featured in the newsletter together with an exposure of the high incidence of cervical cancer. Its guest column focused on the apartheid government’s plans to destroy Cape Town’s Crossroads ‘squatter camp’. The newsletter also announced the formation of a new AAM Women’s Committee drama group in co-operation with Women in Entertainment.

wnl12. AAM Women’s Newsletter 12, Jan/Feb 1984

This issue asked British women’s organisations to celebrate 1984 as ‘The Year of the Women’, designated by the African National Congress. Its debate column defended the decision to set up the women’s committee, partly on the grounds that women faced special obstacles in taking part in political campaigns. It also remembered the women and children who died in the South African armed forces barbarous attack on Namibian refugees at Kassinga, Angola in May 1978. Its guest column, by Pamela Nanda, the Greater London Council’s Anti-Racist Year Co-ordinator, reported on the action taken by the GLC to implement its Anti-Apartheid Declaration.

wnl13. AAM Women’s Newsletter 13, March/April 1984

Issue 13 featured Part 1 of an interview with veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Helen Joseph, former Secretary of the Federation of South African Women and treason trialist, for many years banned for her role in the struggle. The debate column presented an alternative perspective on the contraceptive Depo Provera, arguing that it was a convenient option for many black South African women. The issue called for the release of Albertina Sisulu and highlighted the special deprivations faced by women political prisoners.

wnl14. AAM Women’s Newsletter 14, May–June 1984

South African Prime Minister P W Botha’s visit to Britain in 1984 provoked an unprecedented wave of opposition. This issue of the newsletter asked women to join the AAM’s demonstration against the visit on 2 June. It also celebrated the release from prison of ANC women’s leader Dorothy Nyembe and carried Part 2 of an interview with Helen Joseph.

wnl15. AAM Women’s Newsletter 15, July–August 1984

This South African Women’s Day issue mourned ANC member Jeanette Schoon and her daughter Katryn, assassinated by a parcel bomb sent to Angola, where they were living in exile. Its guest column by writer Beverley Naidoo exposed the racist literature available in many British public libraries. SWAPO activist Magdalena Nghatanga joined the debate on Depo Provera, arguing that all South African women should be offered a full choice of contraceptive methods and not be forced to use Depo Provera. 

wnl16. AAM Women’s Newsletter 16, Sept/Oct 1984

Issue 16 featured 100 years of struggle for self-determination in Namibia and the visit to Britain of three leading members of the SWAPO Women’s Council. It reported on a 1000-strong meeting in Hackney Town Hall, held to celebrate South African Women’s Day on 9 August. It also reproduced an article that first appeared in the South African War Resisters Journal Resister about the role of women in armed struggle in Namibia and South Africa.

wnl17. AAM Women’s Newsletter 17, Nov/Dec 1984

In 1984 South Africa’s townships rose in revolt, marking a new phase in the anti-apartheid struggle. The newsletter highlighted the role of women in the new militancy and sent solidarity greetings to the resurgent Federation of South African Women. A guest column by Glenys Kinnock argued that South African women were oppressed on the grounds of sex, class and colour and pledged to campaign among British women in response to their courage.

wnl18. AAM Women’s Newsletter 18, Jan/Feb 1985

Issue 18 focused on the boycott campaign and ‘the politics of shopping’, listing products and companies that should be boycotted. In the debate column Mildred Mkandla exposed the UN Decade for Women’s failure to have any significant effect on the discrimination and exploitation faced by Southern African women.