South Africa in Terms of Gender Equality

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South Africa in Terms Of Gender Equality

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We cannot run away from the fact that gender inequality is still the major issue even in the democratic society we are still experiencing it. South Africa is not the only country that is experiencing gender inequality but the globe at large, because even the developed countries still experience gender inequality more especially in a sport that is closely identified with men such as rugby and soccer women don’t get the same recognition that men get. The measures of gender are the factors such as equality of economic opportunity also the political empowerment, health and life expectancy and access to basic education. Nevertheless, little signs of progress have been made worldwide including South Africa a lot of strategies need to be implemented to end gender inequality. However, the main purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the processes from the apartheid era to a democratic time whereby all South African citizen have the right of voice compared before. This essay will also dwell on how far South Africa is standing in terms of gender equality.

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South Africa is one of the countries that experienced apartheid in the early days, whereby the majority of black people were victimized by the brutality of the oppressors. However, South Africa is also known for a successful come back from the apartheid regime. It took great strategies to be implemented to shape South Africa to be what it is today. There are many criticisms on the strategies that are used by the nation, and the truth is people are people and people will always find something to talk about, it is natural. According to my viewpoint, a lot of improvement has been done in South Africa. This is because in many societies in past women had lower status compared to men, this resulted in unequal power relations. Today women have much more rights than ever before regardless of the skin colour of the pigment. Yes, I agree that a room of improvement is still necessary so that everyone might see the importance of gender equality within our nation, this will also set a good image of the country and turn the South Africa economy stronger than ever before.

To prove that South Africa is moving on a right direction in terms of sustaining gender equality would be that today black women in past the opportunities that they had was very limited, black business women were very rare to be found, it was all an imagination and fantasy. When the country finally got it’s democracy a lot of things changed, for instance in 2003 South Africa have established organizations that supported black people to become businessmen and businesswomen organization such as BBEEE known as Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

Many black people men and female benefited from this act, now we have highly respected black business women. Also in politics most of the parties women own high ranks to name fewer DA and ANC organisation most of the sit they have women are in forefront such as the minister of education Naledi Mandisa Pandor, also the minister of water affairs lead by Nomvula Nokonyane and lastly the council for scientific and industrial research lead by Mmamoloko kubayi- ngubane lastly Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela who fought for liberation during the apartheid era. This proves the excellence of women in leadership never underestimate the power of women you strike a woman you strike a rock.

Today women are taking a stand against the society the challenged by patriarchy, a male-dominated society and undermines other genders. Women have proved to men that they are very hard working individuals same as men .Women have the same access that men have, in past the were certain careers that were labelled to be closely identified with men, such as engineering this field was a male dominant but things have changed because many of female students are doing engineering which proves that there is no career that is designed for a certain gender, also soccer this sport it is closely identified with men, surprisingly women have found an access in this game too even though yet they are not given the same recognition that men get but as time goes on they will get the recognition they always hope for and get potential sponsors, because there are many serious talks on this matter. This clearly shows that a change is on the way, I know some of the people don’t really see this coming but who has ever thought that apartheid will end at South Africa when whites were so in control of things in South Africa but at the end our fathers were finally free, this gives a clear picture that nothing is impossible.

One of the reason why many people claim that progress has not been made at South Africa, is that some of the portions of African women are still left behind in this transformation of the new world that promote the ideology of gender equality within our societies and communities, whereby women and men get the same opportunities and recognition within our societies and in the working environment, women, and men that are slightly left behind in this new transformation the majority of them are from rural areas. In addition, the majority of men and women still believe in the old ways whereby men took the forefront and women expected to submit under the authority of their husband and wait for the men approval. Majority of men are so against gender equality, this goes to boys as well because this is how they were taught at a young age that they must always be dominant. Men have trained at a very young age that it is not appropriate to behave like a girl, for instance, men don’t cry, the only people who are expected to cry are women, this is because there is this stereotyping that women are very fragile. (Godana, 2017).

Gender inequality does not make sense at a level, by marginalising the rights of women we denial ourselves the opportunity to lift millions of men, women and children out of poverty. Not to mention the chance of the just and farewell. From birth girls and boys, women and men are expected by the society to play certain roles and behave in a certain way based on traditions, religion and other believes. These behaviours are learned and shaped the gender norms in societies. Unfortunately in many countries gender norms create disadvantages for women, often girls are not set to schools, when they become women they then have limited ability to earn money or realise their potential. Rural women play a major role in agriculture development .However, in many developing countries women cannot formal own land without land, they cannot get loans to invest in their farms or business. This also means that they have no control over the use of land or the benefits that comes from it. Men generally control the house hold decision like how to use the family assets , these disadvantages are often reinforce by practises that limit women access services like training.

Culture believes can also restrict women opportunities. Such as parts of Zambia where women cannot per dale their boats as it is considered as arming. The results of these issues women remain poor and agriculture production cannot reach its potential perpetuating poverty and hunger in the developing world. The social norms that limit women opportunities need to be understood and then be changed by taking a gender transformative approach we can influence social norms and bridge the gap in access to resources and services between men and women in a lasting manner. Change was needed on many levels and with men and women must get involve for it to happen. Researches and development organisation need to invest in programs that promote alongside and proving productivity and incomes polices need to be implemented and increase someone access to service and resources. Communities need to support women voice as farmers and leaders. Increasing women voice and agency is a valuable end in its own light, when development organisation policies and communities support the success of women we have a chance to reduce extreme poverty and boost success.

Works cited

  1. United Nations. (2021). Gender inequality index (GII) - 2020. Retrieved from
  2. Anthonissen, C., & Simelane, T. (2019). The intersection of gender and land in South Africa: The case of rural women in KwaZulu-Natal. Land Use Policy, 88, 104069. doi:
  3. Chitando, E., & Mawere, M. (2020). The intersection of gender and religion in Africa: Critical perspectives. Bamenda, Cameroon: Langaa RPCIG.
  4. Godana, P. (2017). Understanding gender inequality in South Africa: The roots, the facts, and the stats. Retrieved from
  5. Khumalo, T. (2018). Women’s empowerment and gender equality in South Africa. Agenda, 32(4), 76-88. doi:
  6. Nkosi, Z., & Shabalala, N. (2018). Gender-based violence in South Africa: A brief review. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 28(6), 415-420. doi:

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