RECONSTRUCTING FEMALE VOICES AND IDENTITIES IN THE DEMOCRATIC ARENA: A STUDY OF GORDIMER’S NONE TO ACCOMPANY ME
This paper sought to explore women’s construction of identities in the democratic space. The democratisation of South Africa saw the essentialisation of human rights, dignity and freedom. This abetted the previously marginalised South Africans to reconstruct their identities within the margins of democracy. Women, in particular, had their voices limited especially in the days of colonialism and apartheid South Africa where patriarchal dominance was at its pinnacle in socio-economic and political positions. The democratic forces that advocated for equality amongst diversified races, cultures and genders empowered women to reconstruct their identities. This saw the reassertion of new identities, shifting of gender roles and women raising their voices in male-driven spaces. This is portrayed in Nadine Gordimer’s None to Accompany Me, which the study has used as a primary lens to explore women’s authentic voices and reassertion of identities in the democratic arena. The paper is qualitative in nature and uses a literary text to fulfil its objective. It finds that women’s liberation in the socio-economic and political dimensions is an ongoing discourse that demonstrates positivity as many democratic avenues are opening for women, however, it is worthy to point out the ills of patriarchy such as gender-based violence that are menacing women’s reconstruction of identities.