All the reviews in this section were written by the participants in a Forum of Activist Journalists workshop at Khanya College. The participants watched a film about women of the Simunye Workers Forum organising in the workplace in partnership with support structure, the Casual Workers Advice Office to push back against the abuses and exploitation they face in the workplace. After watching the over half-hour documentary, the participants shared the following reviews:
Casual Women Film Review
The film was produced by the Simunye Workers Forum. The film is only 35 minutes long and was produced in 2021.
The film is about the women who are suffering and must sleep with the powerful men in the workplace for better salaries. They are afraid to raise the issue because they fear they will be fired. The information that they share is about knowing one’s rights also learn to stand up for oneself.
It is difficult to be a woman, you are working hard as a slave and would be paid R1000 or R500 at the end of the month. You cannot complain especially if you are a migrant because you will be fired and end up without a job.
The interesting thing is that now they know about the offices that they should approach and report at, for them to be recognised as women fighting for their rights and to put the food on the table. They should have a small group and try to discuss the issues then take a step as team. Many people would then voice out.
I have learnt that it is possible to stand up, know your rights and go straight to the Simunye and Casual Workers Advice Office to find help. Learning to speak out in that way, your voice will be heard, especially if you are a group of people fighting for a cause.
It is very painful that as women we should struggle to the point. We have to go to work and then come back to cook. One of the ladies mentioned that she has a husband who is unemployed but that if she is going to work, she has to find someone to look after the children while the husband is doing nothing, it is painful.
Casual Women Workers Organise
12 August 2023
This is a movement documentary about casual women workers organising and creating great awareness. The Casual Workers Advise Office (CWAO) and Simunye Workers Forum (SWF) show how certain people are treated in the country.
Casual women workers organising showed how women are being treated in their places of work. Women raised issues like being harassed, not being recognised and having no power. Women were the ones who were interviewed in this documentary, and it is they who are fighting to be treated with as much respect as the men as well as get paid the salary and wages they deserve. These women fought for their rights until they met CWAO. One lady featured in the film said, “you have to send money to Zim[babwe]. You have to send food to Zim[babwe]. So that your child can go to school.”
Women and the community should practice their rights. Women get paid less they are asked for sexual favours at work so that they can get paid. When a woman gets home, she needs to take care of the household and do everything that is required of her.
The documentary is good shows that women will still fight for their rights and that it is about high time that women should know their rights including men too. That the government can say we are all equal but that is not true in practice. The working class needs to strengthen its position.
Film Review: Casual Women Workers Organise
By Senzeni Ngwenya
12 August 2023
The title of the film is ‘Casual Workers Women Organise’ and was produced by the Simunye Workers Forum together with the Casual Workers Advise Office (CWAO) in 2021. It has a duration of 35 minutes.
It is about issues affecting woman in the workplace as well as domestically, which leads to the suffering of their children.
Morongwa, a farm worker, was interviewed in this film. She raised the issue of underpayment, but they are overworked. Another lady who is a who is a casual fruit packer from Nature’s Garden spoke about the issue of privacy within the company. They work with men, but they are no change rooms.
They share personal protective equipment which is unhygienic. A chef from a restaurant was worried about unity among employees, the local and migrant workers. Though they have a common enemy they struggle to unite and fight.
A waste collector shown in the documentary was worried about safety at the dumpsites as a woman. There are no rest rooms for public inconveniences as well.
The workers fear losing their jobs, so they struggle to raise issues affecting them. Because men are in charge some women resort to sleep with their bosses to get better pay, a permanent post or to get contracts renewed. There is also an issue with labour brokers who are stealing from them, they don’t know how much they are paid – exactly as the labour brokers take a share, what are they paid for and how long they have to work.
After learning about CWAO and being brave enough to mobilise other workers, it was possible for them to solve their problems.
It is a good film. It teaches and guides women on speaking out without vandalising properties or physically fighting in the workplace.
The film brought about women from different places of work who share similar problems, mainly being overworked, being underpaid, facing sexual harassment and finally, exploitation by labour brokers.
Women’s day is a platform for women to share their struggles and share knowledge about their rights.
The working class must keep the spirit of unity, through which they can win the struggle that brought them together.
This article is an amalgum of various submissions by FAJs around Gauteng. The various articles were submitted in mid-August 2023. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.