“You've Struck a Rock”: Comparing Gender, Social Movements, and Transformation in the United States and South Africa
n the Montgomery bus boycott and the South African anti-pass campaign, women's autonomous organizations initiated actions that catalyzed the mass movements for racial justice and national liberation. The activism of women and their organizations sprang from their particular positioning within systems of multiple oppressions simultaneously experiencing racial/ethnic, class, and gender oppression. In both the United States and South Africa, the particular structural location and autonomous resistance of women of African descent was an important aspect of the political opportunity structure and served as a catalyst that catapulted their respective movements for racial justice and/or national liberation to higher levels. This study employs a gendered and comparative approach to these two resistance campaigns to understand better the effects of interactive and multiplicative inequalities on movement processes and the gendered nature of political opportunities.