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Writing from the inside: stories of hope and change

In May 2010, Gender at Work’s Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Strengthening Program hosted a writing workshop with eight organisations in South Africa. These grassroots organisations had participated in an action-learning programme during the previous 18 to 24 months. At the three-day long workshop, participants wrote about their experiences of change during the action-learning programme, the stories from which feature in this book. Gender at Work believes that the place of writing in social change is its creation of a space for participants to find their voices after years of exclusion, as well as its encouragement of activists and change agents to value their roles in advancing human rights and women’s equality. Most of these stories are written in English, with English translations for the two written in Zulu and the one in Afrikaans. The CSO Strengthening Program was initiated in 2004 to advance women’s rights, gender equality and social justice.