The Women’s Health and Empowerment Programme seeks to capacitate rural farmwomen to know their rights and organise to claim them in their communities. WHEP’s two focus areas of health and women’s empowerment have focused on strengthening knowledge, activism, and campaigning. This has targeted women farm workers, dwellers, and rural women in general. It has also targeted and worked with government in its different institutions, and networks, coalitions, and other partner organisations. A key function of this programme is to use feminist theory to empower farming communities against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other oppressive patriarchal features, which are structurally entrenched in farming communities. The programme has also expanded its national advocacy and lobbying efforts and begun to assess research options within its work.
Advocacy on feminist issues in farming communities
Workshops on sexual health, mental health GBV, and gender roles
Events to promote the organisation of farmwomen against feminist issues
Mass-based events to influence policy and legislation relating to the advancement of women’s rights and wellbeing
Advocacy against the use of harmful pesticides in farming communities.
Major achievements of WHEP in 2022:
While this program’s workshops, events, and other advocacy efforts have had a significant impact on the empowerment of farmwomen (and men) on feminist issues, the program’s most significant achievement in 2022 was undoubtedly the governments’ agreement to ban the use of hazardous pesticides in South Africa by 2022. WFP was the first South African organization to advocate for the prohibition of pesticides, which have disastrous effects on farmworker and resident health as well as environmental biodiversity. In 2023 WFP will continue to advocate for an end to the double standards that allow for European produced (and banned) pesticides to be used across Africa. ReadMore