Men Trying to Stop Women’s Migration
Vigorous debates took place between and within various male groups about the appropriate forms of control over migrant women and a range of strategies of control emerged out of those debates. The South African authorities’ concern about the general “infiltration” of African women and families to the urban areas was almost as old as the towns themselves. These concerns had intensified in the 1920s with accelerating urbanisation. By the 1930s, Bechuanaland colonial officials had come round to the view that the control of migrant women was an issue requiring a policy response. The nature of this response was initially consistent with their decontextualised view of migrant women as abnormal individuals requiring control. This chapter explores the different strains of thinking within the Bechuanaland administration including: spatial confinement, “bonification” and rural development, and disintegrating chiefly powers.