Natal Organisation of Women

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The Natal Organisation of Women (NOW) was a regional women's organization in South Africa in the Natal area. NOW was founded in 1983 and affiliated with the United Democratic Front (UDF).[1] NOW included women from all ages, class and races.[2] NOW's values were in opposition of those expressed by the Inkatha's women's groups.[3]


Since 1980, women felt that there was a need for "an ongoing programme that would unite women and deal with women's issues."[4] A group of women founded NOW in December 1983.[4] One of the founding members was Victoria Mxenge.[5] NOW launched the group on August 9, 1984.[6] The issues they focused on included the cost of living, housing and problems surrounding maternity and childcare in South Africa.[7] The first branches of NOW were located in Durban.[7] The first president of NOW was Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.[8] When Mxenge was killed, NOW organized a demonstration in Durban.[9]

NOW disbanded in 1990 and members joined with the African National Congress (ANC).[1]

Notable members[edit]



  1. ^ a b Sheldon, Kathleen (2016). Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 202. ISBN 9781442262935.
  2. ^ Hassim 2006, p. 134.
  3. ^ Geisler, Gisela (2005). Women and the Remaking of Politics in Southern Africa: Negotiating Autonomy, Incorporation and Representation. Nordic Africa Institute. p. 72. ISBN 9789171065155.
  4. ^ a b "Natal Organisation of Women (NOW)". South African History Online. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Mlungisi Griffiths Mxenge and Victoria Nonyamezelo". The Presidency of South Africa. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  6. ^ Meer 1998, p. 122.
  7. ^ a b Cherry, Janet (2007). "'We Were Not Afraid': The Role of Women in the 1980s' Township Uprising in the Eastern Cape". In Gasa, Nomboniso (ed.). Women in South African History: They Remove Boulders and Cross Rivers. Human Sciences Research Council. p. 283. ISBN 9780796921741.
  8. ^ "The Daily Impact: UN Women Taps Former South African Leader". Impact. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  9. ^ Meer 1998, p. 135.