Inspirational women-led initiative: Saluting the National Movement of Rural Women

By Lindelwa Masuku

As Women's Month commences, we celebrate the National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) for their outstanding dedication to empowering rural women. Let's recognise their invaluable contribution to gender equality and socio-economic progress.

As Women's Month commences on the 1st of August, it is crucial to honour and celebrate impactful organisations that champion women's empowerment. One such remarkable organization is the National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW).

National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) - Limpopo Projects - Moutse East

Founded in South Africa in 1990, the NMRW emerged as a non-profit, grassroots initiative with a noble mission - to provide a voice to rural women who, until then, faced numerous challenges in freely expressing themselves and inheriting land. 

In a country where married black women were considered minors by law until 1994, the NMRW has been instrumental in advocating for the recognition of customary law and challenging oppressive traditions.

The NMRW operates on a national scale, with regional offices in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West. These regional offices, which predate the national provincial boundaries, are manned by dedicated regional coordinators.

National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) - KwaNgema - Amsterdam Garden

Over the years, the NMRW has been a driving force behind numerous initiatives aimed at empowering rural women economically, socially, and politically. 
One of the most significant endeavors has been the Economic Justice Program. 

Through this program, the NMRW extends financial and capacity-building support to various projects owned entirely by community members. These projects range from agriculture and related activities to crafts, sewing, beadwork, and pottery.

Moreover, the NMRW acknowledges the need for sustainable empowerment. To address this, they conduct Capacity Building and Training Program workshops for their members, focusing on areas like financial management, tender processes, business identification, project and business management, and health and welfare. 

Armed with this knowledge, the women of the NMRW engage tirelessly with the government and other stakeholders, influencing policy and legislation to entrench gender equality and development in the socio-economic empowerment of rural women.

National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) - Tlogelang Mologadi Gardens

In addition to their economic initiatives, the NMRW serves as a vital platform for rural women to address issues affecting their lives. Through workshops and forums, they discuss challenges related to mental, physical, and psychological well-being, especially for elderly women and children. 

The NMRW also monitors the impact of policies and laws that may affect rural women, advocating for their rights and interests.

As we commemorate Women's Month, it is essential to recognise the NMRW's tireless efforts in elevating the quality of life for black women in rural South Africa. 

Their research on the challenges faced by rural women in implementing enacted laws sheds light on areas for improvement. By sharing this information with relevant stakeholders, the NMRW strives to create a resource base for development, promoting gender equity at the core of women's empowerment.

National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) - Members of Mokgwaneng Village

The National Movement of Rural Women's dedication to empowering rural women deserves praise and appreciation. 

As we highlight impactful women-led initiatives during Women's Month, let us celebrate and support the NMRW's unwavering commitment to empowering women, bridging the gap between city and rural communities, and creating a more inclusive and equitable South Africa for all.

Article Tags

Women's Month

National Movement of Rural Women

gender equality



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