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transforming cultures of violence: ploughing the soil, planting the seeds of new social norms

In September 2013, the South African Gender at Work (G@W) team initiated a feminist inspired social change process to experiment with the possibility of using an approach that emphasises dialogue and working with multiple and diverse actors to collaborate in creating greater collective impact in relation to violence against women and non-conforming genders.

The social change process was named “Letsema” – an isiSotho word referring to the practice in rural areas where women came together to work the soil. In the context of the social change process initiated by the Gender at Work team, “Letsema” gave meaning to women (and men) coming together to work the soil of creating new and more equal social norms; non-violent relationships between women, men and non-conforming genders andto effect maximum collective impact.

This paper attempts to outline the story of what happened during the Letsema process; what our initial Theory of Change was and what has enabled the changes, what are some of the key outcomes and what this has meant in terms of norm change. Finally we ask now what – where the process is going – what are some of the key challenges we face and what are we learning? Read Full Article

by Gender at Work

Michel Friedman


Transforming Cultures of Violence: Ploughing the soil, planting the seeds of new social norms


February 1, 2017