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Celebrating 'Mothers Of The Nation': The Monument To The Women Of South Africa In Pretoria

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Chapter Summary

While providing a detailed investigation of the Monument to the Women of South Africa at Pretoria, this chapter discusses issues of gender within the commemorative effort of the post-apartheid order and more specifically examines the relationship between gender identity and conceptions of national identity. As part of the National Legacy Project, the Women's Monument also more broadly celebrates the role of women as 'mothers of the nation' through their contribution to the foundation of the new democratic order. This chapter critically investigates how 'different' the new Women's Monument really is. It investigates to what extent this monument perpetuates or diverts from entrenched patterns of gendered memorialisation, what this monument can be thought to say about women and their role within the nation, how the monument might encourage new models of gendered identification, and also what new limitations, gender stereotypes and categories of exclusion it might be seen to create.

Keywords: gender identity; memorialisation; monument; mothers of the nation; National Legacy Project; Pretoria; South Africa; women



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