Contributors are invited to write on the topic above from either a research or an activism perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style accessible to a wide audience.  Please submit abstracts to or

 No later than 29th March 2016


Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 28 years and raises debate around women’s rights and gender issues. The journal is designed to promote critical thinking and debate and aims to strengthen the capacity of both men and women to challenge gender discrimination and injustice. The Agenda journal is an IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer reviewed journal

GUEST EDITORS:  Yvette Abrahams, Vanessa Ludwig and Colette Solomons

Conceptual Rationale:

Vandana Shiva said: “For me eco-feminism is about our conditions of labour.” Wangari Maathai said” I started planting trees and ended up challenging governments”. These statements exemplify an intersectional approach to food, ecology, and governance.  Michael Pollan and Raj Patel, amongst others, have laid bare the industrial food system, arguing that it has led to a severe crisis in nutrition. They document that the mass entry of women in the US and Europe into the working world since the 1960’s has been accompanied by a massive increase in processed food consumption and a concomitant decrease in nutrition, leading to the explosion in what has been named ‘obesity’ and chronic lifestyle diseases.

The extension of the industrial food system to Africa and the rest of the global South under the name ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1990’s has meant that in, for instance South Africa, we have seen an identical pattern develop. In relation to deepening inequality in a context of climate change, leading to increasingly fraught relationships between the rural and the urban settings contexts in the Global South about access to natural resources, and exacerbated by the current drought; women’s health and well-being are taking strain. To the extent that women’s bodies are being subjected to this systemic violence, we are drained of the energy we should be directing towards transformation. In this sense, good food is key to broader feminist struggles. This issue of Agenda is grounded in a belief that we urgently need to address the interplay of theory and practice in reformulating feminist approaches to food.

We welcome contributions on, amongst others, the following topics:

  1. A conceptual grounding of food and its intersectional dimensions, beyond the narrow debates currently evident in the Food Insecurity debate that lack deep engagement with gender and feminist concerns.
  2. A review of activist theorizing and practice – our gains, our losses and our transformative ways forward.
  3. Issues relating to the current unequal distribution of land, as well as land grabs involving local elites (whether the agenda is conservation, or building indigenous capitalists) as well as transnational interests, particularly from the BRICS countries;
  4. The power of traditional authorities in relation to control over natural resources and social justice for rural women and poor communities;
  5. Working conditions of women in all their spheres as food producers and consumers, including women in distribution and transport.
  6. Examining how lack of food disproportionately impact women and what the implications are for gender equity in terms of economic advancement, education and self-confidence.
  7. International trade regulations, copyrighting of indigenous knowledge and the privatization of natural genes, the overdevelopment of the North and elite capture in the South.
  8. Universities and women’s movements/ organizations as settings for knowledge production about food.

Contributions are accepted in any form, prose (both theoretical and practical), poetry, narrative, interviews, and visual arts.

Submission Guidelines for Agenda Journal

The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in preparing their contributions.


Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of women’s organizations and organizations interested in and concerned with gender issues.

Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.

Writers need to:

    • Write in an accessible and understandable style;
    • Inform, educate or raise debate;
    • Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
    • Provide an analysis and an argument;
    • Be logical;
      • Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
      • Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight into the subject;
      • Utilize a gender or feminist lens.

We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorized articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.

Formats of Contributions

      • Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
      • Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 – 4 000 words)
      • Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
      • Profile looks in detail at an organisation, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 – 3 500 words)
      • Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops etc
      • (1 500 – 4 000 words)
      • Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 – 3 000 words)
      • Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 – 3 000 words)
      • Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument, or pieces which deal with argument and difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 – 4 000 words)
      • Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective, narrative style (1 500 – 3 000 words)

 Contributions should be submitted in the following format:

File type:         Microsoft Word

Font:                Arial

Size:                 10 pt

Line spacing:   single

Justification:    left

Referencing:   Harvard style

All submissions should have the following:

Abstract:          200 – 300 words

Keywords:        approx 5 keywords

Bio:                  100 – word author biography, including email address

Bio picture:     head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format

Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission

Selection and Editing Process

All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Group.

Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.

On re-submission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal.

Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.

Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.

Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years  WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.

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