One of the best parts about FEMMEPROJECTS is that our Directorship is all womxn and all young (well relatively young) with a cumulative background in performance and social developmen. FEMMEPROJECTS was created in 2014 when we were approached by the Transnet Foundation to create a Teenage Health Programme around menstrual and sexual education and rights for young womxn in rural schools throughout the Western Cape. We ran this workshop for three years developing a feminist approach to gender and sexual education. Between 2014 and 2017 facilitated nearly 4000 young womxn through our taboo-free workshops along with disseminating menstrual cups and sanitation resources.
Our name is an acronym for Freedom of Education Motivates Empowerment and this is our core belief. Now an independent organisation we are committed to applying our interactive, intersectional, interactive approach to educating and empowering youth around areas including: sexual education, gender, identity, reproductive rights and puberty.
We believe that our current education system, particularly the approach to educating young womxn particularly in Life Orientation needs drastic reform. We aim to provide young learners in school to have access to accurate, effectively communicated information that will support them in making well informed choices. We align ourselves with Chapter 9 of the Equal Education Handbook which encourages inclusivity and asserts that school policy should adhere to the Constitution in ensuring learner’s freedom of expression, right to privacy and the rights of LGBTQI and Trans Learners.
We believe that learners should have free and well facilitated safe spaces to talk and ask questions about their bodies, sex and all aspects related to sexual and gender identity. Puberty can be frightening and lonely. Learners are often confused at what’s happening to their bodies often feel unable to talk to educators and guardians about their experiences and questions. By only teaching learners about abstinence and without creating supportive, safe and honest spaces learners remain both repressed and vulnerable to depression, sexually transmitted diseases, poor decision making, abuse and teenage pregnancy.