Investigation into the portrayal of female characters in selected isiZulu novels after the year 2000: an African womanist literary approach.
Shabalala, Sicelo Cyril.
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What use to work in time memorial may be outdated in the current dispensation. Western feminism and African womanism does not tolerate women oppression. Hands of time are not static in so doing the tide of time ensures that people move in accordance. People, men in specific, need to adopt and adapt to a new social and political context. The constitution of the republic of South Africa 1996 dictates that women ought to be protected against harm, discrimination and any form of exploitation. The study will reveal on whether women’s place in society has changed and to what extent to represent the current political and social reality. It will also identify stereotypes that are used in depicting women. This study, therefore, attempts to explore the image of women in isiZulu literature. The study employs African womanist literary criticism as a tool in critically analysing the selected isiZulu texts. Texts in question were picked using purposive sampling. The study concludes that there is gender biasness in the way in which female characters are portrayed. Roles that women fulfil in literature do not mirror the current social and political order of the day. Women are still under the yoke of oppression regardless of their educational status. Financial dependence in women plus the institution of marriage gives men the upper hand. Zulu mores foster submissiveness in women. Women who do not abide by the patriarchal rules are constantly lambasted.