For Better Or Worse?

Women And ZANLA In Zimbabwe's Liberation Struggle

Josephine Nhongo-Simbanegavi



With a foreword by Terence Ranger this book offers a thought provoking analysis of women's experiences with ZANLA during the war of independence.It challenges official orthodoxy that a gender revolution occurred in this period and that a generation of liberated women emerged from the struggle.The research demonstrates that while ZANLA extensively mobilised women as porters, nurses, teachers, secretaries and cooks - all crucial to the struggle and glorified in the rhetoric, in substance, the movement perceived these roles as secondary to the activities of men.


Contributing to a more critical and nuanced understanding of the liberation movement, this book provides a damning expose of the unhappy marriage of Zimbabwean women and ZANLA-the armed wing of ZANU-PF-during Zimbabwe's liberation war. - Elizabeth Schmidt, The International Journal of African Historical Studies


Dr Josephine Nhongo-Simbanegavi teaches history at Crandall University in Canada. She is advisory board member of the Journal of Southern African Studies.