n Journal for Contemporary History - Anna Scheepers' struggle for the recognition of the dignity of labour for all workers and for the equality of women in all spheres

Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



It is at the outset of this article important to briefly shed light on the career of Anna Scheepers. Anna was born at Krugersdorp (Transvaal) on 18 March 1914. She was the second of nine children with a spread of 20 years from the oldest to the youngest. She was obliged to leave school in her grade 12 year, because her family suffered financially due to the Depression. After this a lifetime of "self-education" followed. In 1932 she arrived in Johannesburg and entered the labour market as a teenage fruit-counter hand in Malvern (Johannesburg). Two years later her involvement with the Garment Workers' Union (GWU) began when she was employed by Jaffe and Co. Thus her struggle for the dignity of all workers and for the equality of women in all spheres started. (Cf subheading 3 of this article : ) Within another four years, in 1938, she became President of the GWU, still only 24 years old!

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