Cape Town - A new campaign that has everyone asking “who is Patrick?” was launched on Monday by a collective of working-class women from across Cape Town to raise awareness of what they say is “neglect” from the government and big business which export and waste food products while communities go hungry.
The group of women behind #PatrickMustFall held a protest at Constantia circle where they engaged with residents on who Patrick is.
“Patrick is the name our group has organically come to use to refer to the patriarchy – the embodiment all the violences and injustices we face as women that cannot be separated from capitalism and the exploitation of the working class. Patrick and all he represents is the enemy of women,” the group said.
The collective is made up of organisations such as Security & Safety Patrol Delft, Housing Assembly, Bonteheuwel Development Forum, Hope for the Future and the Food Sovereignty Campaign.
Activist Salaama Abrahams explained: “We cut patriarchy and just called it Patrick for everybody to understand. All our issues stem from patriarchy so we decided that we needed to bring it to people’s attention that everybody is suffering from the same struggles but nobody is coming to our aid and the government is not looking at the people on the ground.”
She said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government fell short of supplying people with food, which prompted her and other forums to start food gardens to ensure people don’t starve from hunger.
“Land availability for growing our own food gardens is one of the demands we want from the government. To make land available for not just vegetables but also livestock too like chicken, sheep and goats. We want the government to make it available,” Abrahams said.
Further demands from the collective include: ending policies that prioritise the exporting of nutritious foods, while degrading and unhealthy foods are the only affordable options for working-class communities; employment for young and middle-aged women so they are able to feed their families and communities and bringing back agricultural studies into the formal curriculum.
Food Sovereignty Campaign secretary Charmaine Jacobs said the issue of food insecurity is a by-product of patriarchy because women bear the brunt of being responsible for food in the household.
“Inequality in race, class and gender from the household where men dominate women goes up to corporate businesses and the government. There is no security in the household because there is no food due to the high prices. The government doesn’t care about the high prices, they only care about exporting the quality food products.
“If there is no food in the house, it’s the mother’s problem, it’s the women’s problem – this is how violence brews in the household,” Jacobs said.