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Year: 2013 Type: Book Chapter Language: English

This chapter is concerned with addressing the power dynamics and inequalities in the relationship between a South African non-government organization (NGO), Women on Farms Project (WFP) and the membership-based organization (MBO), Sikhula Sonke, which it established. In particular, it focuses on the genesis and evolution of the relationship and how unanticipated and initially unarticulated tensions led to a shift in power and a new phase in the relationship between the two organisations. The first section provides a short background to WFP, including the key discourses which have informed the understanding and approach of WFP’s work with farmwomen. The next section then outlines the contextual conditions of farmwomen in post-apartheid South Africa which led to WFP forming Sikhula Sonke. In the third section, the various phases of the relationship between WFP and Sikhula Sonke are analysed. The author is aware of and declares her own positionality as a WFP staff member who was also very intimately involved in the changing relationship with Sikhula Sonke. The final section provides a reflection on the specificities of this relationship, but also draws broader lessons about the potential and limits of NGOs and MBOs working together in organizing women workers in the informal sector.

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