A feminist response to the food crisis in contemporary South Africa

Women’s responses to the food crisis in contemporary South Africa raise important questions for feminism. The realisation of the ’right to sufficient food’ enshrined in the post-apartheid constitution is central to achieving an active, gendered citizenship. However grassroots mobilisation is necessary to give such justiciable socioeconomic rights substantive content. As part of that struggle women are driving alternatives to the neo-liberal food regime, developing different forms of power, new forms of organisation and counter narratives of ‘food justice’ and ‘food sovereignty’. However they are generally not doing so in the name of ‘feminism’ although women’s involvement in food production, procurement and preparation is a fundamental feminist issue. The article explores why this is the case and concludes by asking whether a ‘transformative feminism’ could emerge and give strength and coherence to these anti-hegemonic struggles to realise the ‘right to sufficient food’ and simultaneously lead to the re-energising of feminist politics.
Document Type: 
Local article
Date of publication: 
Jacklyn Cock