Footprints in the Quag


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Mariam Tlali belonged to the National Women?s Coalition, which advocated for the inclusion of women’s rights in South Africa’s constitution in the run-up to the first democratic election in 1994. As a member Tlali had an incisive analysis of women?s oppression, and was a passionate advocate against gender-based violence. This is a prominent theme in her fiction, Footprints in the Quag which highlights the occurrence and effects of domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment in the township of Soweto. Yet her women characters are not victims’ they fight back, physically or through educating their communities. They carve out for themselves social spaces where they are able to organise against such abuse.