9 July 2016
Throughout South Africa, men and women have been finding work on farms for centuries. However, the “lack of growth in employment in the commercial agriculture sector” combined with rigorous working conditions and low pay are taking a toll on seasonal farm workers (Davies). According to Mercia Andrews’ article “Sleeping giant is stirring: Farm workers in South Africa,” the minimum wage that these workers expect is “one of the lowest in South Africa’s formal employment sector.” The transition to democracy brought about regulations for the treatment of farm workers but many times these new developments and promotions are reserved only for men (Shabodien). Combine these elements with the pressure to raise a family and you receive a glimpse of the enormous strain that women farm workers are under. Clearly, the insecurity that surrounds the lives of seasonal farm workers is heightened for women – but when money is needed for survival, what other option is there?