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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


BLIGNAUT, Charl. Historia [online]. 2012, vol.57, n.2, pp.68-103. ISSN 2309-8392.

The Ossewa-Brandwag (OB) was a mass-movement opposed to South Africa's participation in the Second World War on the side of Britain. Thousands of Afrikaners saw the OB as a movement in which they could express their opposition to the war and continue the volk's struggle against British authority. They referred to the OB as the Afrikaner's "Second Rebellion". Afrikaner women also joined the OB in their thousands and participated in all the activities of the movement - including the active resistance to the war effort. In spite of this there is no study that describes the role of women in this regard. This article explores the different forms of resistance women used to articulate their opposition to the war as part of the more activist nature of the OB. The influence of the metaphoric possibilities of the so called volksmoeder construction also comes under the looking glass. Of all the qualities of the volksmoeder especially the idea of women's "sense of independence" is evident in women's resistance. OB-women acted within the confines of the volksmoeder discourse and gave meaning to their constructed identity through their activities of resistance. By doing so they often transgressed and reconstructed pre-war gender norms.

Keywords : Afrikaner nationalism; Afrikaner women; gender; Ossewa-Brandwag; resistance; Second World War; South Africa; volksmoeder (mother of the nation); women's history..

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