Title: Creating change through women’s cooperatives
Author: Dwanu Sehlaphi Sibanda, Ecumenical Service for Social-Economic Transformation (ESSET)
Voices from the South E-Newsletter: October 2017
In this month’s Voices from the South, we meet the South African organization Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (Esset). Esset is an independent ecumenical organization working for gender equality and women’s empowerment, with a special focus on socio-economic challenges. They promote the formation of economic and social cooperatives for women. These cooperatives can help create spaces for investments and income generation for women in marginalized communities, and challenge the structures in society that oppress women.
In 2016 Esset published the booklet , “Situation the role of patriarchy in sexual violence – the stories of black women”, as a way of creating a platform for black working class women where they can tell their own stories of violence. The booklet, start with a powerful poem by the late Fezeka Kuzwayo who in 2006 made headlines when she accused then deputy president, and former comrade of her father, Jacob Zuma of rape. The poem is a powerful call for justice and equality for women in South Africa, and can highlight why the work of Esset and others are so important. You can read the poem at the end of the newsletter.