On 8 March, WFP hosted a public event for more than 200 women farm workers and dwellers to celebrate International Women's Day. The focus of the event was twofold: to reflect on the farm worker strikes of 2012, and share experiences and strategies around the continuing violence against women in rural towns and farms.
In reflecting on the farm worker strikes, women discussed both the emerging impacts of the strikes and the role played by women during the strike. Following these preliminary discussions, WFP is undertaking more detailed research into the impacts of the strike.
While reflecting on gender-based violence, women shared their experiences of poor service delivery from police officials, recounting instances in which police had refused to open cases about domestic violence, failed to implement protection orders, and released perpetrators shortly after arresting them.
Following the workshop, women marched to the Stellenbosch police station to hand over a memorandum outlining their experiences with rural police officials, and demanding more respectful and gender-sensitive service from police responding to reports of gender-based violence. WFP will follow up with the Stellenbosch police.