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If war is defined by the scale and intensity of political violence, then perhaps there is a hidden war being waged against women in our society.

Jacklyn Cock, quoted in Mark Gevisser, ‘The war against women’s bodies,’ Weekly Mail, 12 September 1991.

South Africa’s Hidden War is a research project exploring women’s own understandings of and responses to sexual violence in South Africa from the 1940s to 2000s. It aims to develop the first extensive history of sexual violence in twentieth century South Africa and reframe current understandings of sexual violence with a greater emphasis on women’s voices.

The project is funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and runs from 2020-2024 with the opportunity to extend until 2027.