When was the ANC Women’s League founded? In 1943, the ANC decided to allow women to join the organization as full members. In 1948, the ANC created the Women’s League, the organization that was to be the home for women members of the ANC and the mechanism through which their politics and participation would be directed. The women became active in the Defiance Campaign of 1952 where they played a leading role. In the Eastern Cape 1067 of the 2529 defiers were women, with Florence Matomela at the forefront. The Women’s League was then asked by the Congress Alliance to assist in organizing the 1955 Congress of the People, where the Freedom Charter was to be adopted. This gave the women an opportunity to lobby for the incorporation of their demands into the charter. In 1955, the issue of passes came forth again as the government announced that it would start issuing reference books in January 1956. A demonstration was held on the 27th of October 1955 and was attended by 2 000 women. On the 9th of August 1956, the women of the league confronted Prime Minister J.G. Strydom, under the auspices of the Federation of South African Women with a petition against passing laws. The banning of the ANC in 1960 disrupted the activities of the Women’s League as central leaders were forced to go underground. Many women leaders fled into exile and those that were left behind could not organize anything as they were banned and restricted. Regional organizers became important as they managed resistance at the ground level. Regional organizations such as the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDTRAW), the Natal Organisation of Women (NOW), and the United Women’s Congress (UWCO) in the Western Cape were formed. The women in exile, under the leadership of Gertrude Shope, organized themselves into the ANC Women’s Section which mobilized international solidarity. Soon after the unbanning of the ANC and its structures towards the end of 1990, the ANC Women’s League lobbied all the women’s organizations to set up a coalition. The task of this coalition would be to do research, co-ordinate, and draw up a women’s charter, based on the priorities and concerns of women, from all walks of life throughout the country. The National Women’s Coalition was launched early in 1991 and started working on the Women’s Charter immediately. The charter was completed in 1994 and was handed over to the President in Parliament. The concerns of women presented in the women’s charter were incorporated in the new constitution of the country and in the Bill of Rights.