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Wednesday, November 25 • 12:30 - 14:15
E36: Making Research Count: Women and Human Economy In South Africa

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For this workshop, we propose to present our two connected SASUF projects. In the first hour, we will talk about the importance of informal financial markets for the well-being of disadvantaged communities in South Africa (sdg 1, 5, 10). We propose to show and comment the documentary we made in 2019, titled Stokvel: A Lesson from Zululand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rtMd6bzoUw&t=338s) based on our research. We defend the idea that financial inclusion is not always desirable. The stokvel system is of tremendous importance for disadvantaged communities with limited access to resources and formal financial products in South Africa. We advocate for the preservation of such a system. It benefits not only the poor but in particular women thanks to its close association with Ubuntu set of values.

In the second hour, we will talk about our follow-up project. While investigating the stokvel system, we realized that most women relied on social grants to make ends meet. The lack of labor opportunities in certain disadvantaged areas is a major problem for these communities. Through our interviews, we found that women there are not trained for any specific crafts. In close collaboration with these women, we have arranged several training sessions in crocheting, knitting and sewing. Particular emphasis has been put on sewing facial masks.
We would like to share our experience. We intend to have a conversation about community engagement and the role of social scientists. This hands-on academic research and work is part of the Human Economy approach developed by Elise Dermineur Reuterswärd (www.humaneconomylab.com) and Unathi Kolanisi.  

Keywords: human economy, women, disadvantaged communities, training, informal financial markets

avatar for Elise Dermineur Reuterswärd

Elise Dermineur Reuterswärd

Associate professor of history

Wednesday November 25, 2020 12:30 - 14:15 CET
Zoom Room D