Women In South Africa Essay

2345 words - 10 pages

During apartheid in South Africa, the country was a collaboration of racism and sexism with the government striving day in and day out to keep the country in such a state. The gender discrimination in South Africa is deeply rooted in the ethnic traditions of the multi-cultural communities, as well as by the compliance of women themselves. Several culture’s values perceive women as inferior to men. Because of these cultural traditions, compliance, and the government, gender equality in South Africa has been an ongoing battle, and will continue to be throughout the twenty-first century. In Western terms, Africa has always been impoverished and thriving with conflict whether it be between ...view middle of the document...

However allocation of land is an admistrative act and cannot be challenge in a court of law. Only widowed women with children has a chance of gaining land and if she did she would receive half of what a married man would receive. Women in reserves suffered from lack of job opportunites in their areas. Women wre denied some jobs because they were reserved for men whether by custom, employer, physical or other occupational requirements. African women were always paid less than men. They did not have the pleasure of traveling for a job unlike the men. They could not leave their household responsibilities so causaully; for if they do they would lose their right to culitivate the family land. Many African men left the rural areas to work as migrants in the mines and towns. The women and children were left behind to scrape a living from deterioratry soils in overcrowded homelands. African women workers are usually hired for the lowest paid and/or paid less than men for the same job. In some cases the cost of commuting may not be worth having a low paying job. Only 13.6% of all rural African women workers were employed for remurerative labor. Those who do work are likely to be employed as farm laborers, domestic servants on white-owned farms near the reserves, daily domestics, or as laundresses. The worst paying jobs were available to the blacks. Only a handful of African nurses and teachers managed to break out of the depressing occupational mold for rural African women. The few who did received far less pay then the city African women would at the same jobs. The lack of job opportunities in the rural areas and the consequent poverty leads inevitably to sickness and death. Tuberculosis and other diseases associated with malnutrition became widespread during the apartheid. The average life expectancy of an African women in 1960 was 44-46 years while that of a white man was 65-72 years. In the reserves where poverty was the worst, black women who survive childbirth find that the chances of their being widowed, seeing their children die, and/or be frequently stunted or deficient as the result of under nourshment are greatly enhanced.
African women in urban areas are subject to the same disabilities as women in the reserves. However, the forms and the effect of discrimination differ from place to place. The right of Africans to reside in the urban areas is largely determined by two laws; The Bantu Labour Act and the so-called Urban Areas Act and by the myriad regulations issued under them. Section 10(i) of the Urban Areas Act, the basic provision relating to residence in the urban areas, prohibits any African from remaining in an urban area more than 72 hours unless he is in possession of a permit to remain or he otherwise qualifies under the section to remain without a permit. The three classes of Africans are qualified to remain in a specified urban area without a permit are any African who has resided in the area con tinuously since birth;...

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