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The Rights of Women in South Africa

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Human Rights
Wordcount: 1469 words Published: 18th May 2020

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While taking this class, I have learned not just that women’s study’s issues are an issue in the United States yet additionally all through this world. Obviously, I have known there were issues around the world, I simply was uninformed of the profundity to these issues and how a few nations have had no change by any stretch of the imagination. When picking which nation to compose this last research paper on, I observed South Africa to be interesting. I could discover a variety of things regarding South African woman, and the existence they live. There are a couple of points that we have examined during this course I could consolidate into this paper, for example, gender-based violence, the privileges and rights of ladies in a marriage or family, and enhancements that have been made including transnational feminism.

All through time, it has turned out to be realized that the nation of South Africa very known and cheered for their attempts and policies to propel their gender equalities and women’s rights. There are a few obstacles and issues that are still being researched on these topics.

Something we discussed throughout this class was gender-based violence, and “South Africa is a country that I have learned still possesses this particular issue and concern.” (“Connect with us.” Oxfam South Africa, Oxfam South Africa) I have learned through researching women’s rights in South Africa that “even though the intention of advancing the rights of women and the equality of genders is a concern of the country as a whole, women are still being represented inaccurately by the poor, unemployed, and those who are in starvation. Because gender-based violence is prevalent in South Africa, it has become one of the topmost dangerous places for women to live all throughout the world.” (“Connect with us.” Oxfam South Africa, Oxfam South Africa)

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South Africa’s, take and perspectives including family and marriage for ladies is taken care of differently in contrast to how it is in the United States. “Black communities throughout South Africa practice what is called polygyny, which is when a man has multiple wives.” (“South Africa.” Countries and Their Cultures) Their marital system is based that and “women’s riches,” which is the time when the man, and his family pay the gathering of the woman as a result of her turn in marriage. Since the man and his family has paid for her, she by then should return with the regenerative help in her new spouse living status. Their conjugal framework is based that and “brides wishes,” which is the point at which the man, and his family pay for the bride’s hand in marriage. Since the man and his family has paid for her, she at that point must be willing to engage in reproduction under the roof of her new husband. (“South Africa.” Countries and Their Cultures). Although similar practices have been practiced globally for years now, it makes me very sad to think that these people cannot find love for themselves.  My father’s parents were both from Greece and had an arranged marriage where my Yia’ Yia was thirty years old and my Papou’ was sixty years old. My Papou’ actually lived in the United States and went at age 60 to meet his bride.  They married and moved back to the United States.  They learned to love each other.

Even though the act of polygamy is exceptionally regular in South Africa, it is in no way, shape or form the main work on including marriage and family all through this nation. “Being married to only one person at a time, otherwise known as monogamy, is the norm for most other groups within South Africa as well as people in sexual relationships that live together but are not married at all” (“South Africa.” Countries and Their Cultures). All three types are very common and well known during South Africa but like I said before, is nothing like how Americans do it in the United States. One crucial problem I have learned when discussing a polygyny marriage is that “the only way to divorce or even apply for it if you are a woman, you must have the husband there as well.” (Nolundi. “Customary Marriages in South Africa: Understanding the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998.”) This event ends up being an issue all the time because a woman will be swindled in a marriage where she is being, for example, being misused. By and large, women are managed much differently and not sensible when discussing their employments in social associations and families.

The possibility of Transnational Feminism is something that has developed and associated women from everywhere throughout the world to join together and attempt to handle the issues including women’s rights around the world. “Transnational Feminist networks have emerged in the context of a growing population of educated, employed, mobile, and politically aware women around the world.” (Marx and Tripp, “Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights”) As earlier stated, South Africa has been profoundly regarded and respected by different nations, particularly ones consisting of transnational women’s feminists, for their drive to more likely improve women’s rights. From inquiring about ways that South Africa has emphatically improved how they view and regard their women, I have taken in a few interesting facts. Studies have shown that “since May of twenty fifteen, 36% of adult South Africans believed that men were best for the roles as political leaders, that percentage has now lowered to 22% as of May twenty seventeen” (“Polls show some improvements in South African perceptions of women.” Ipsos). On the off chance that the numbers can change regarding a matter as significant as this, at that point I believe it’s possible for the numbers and opinions of things to come to change for other significant issues, and it has. Other studies that I found a claim that “in the same time frame, a percentage of 24% of adult South Africans believed that women’s place in society was to be at home. That percentage has now dropped to 22% since May of twenty fifteen.” (“Polls show some improvements in South African perceptions of women.” Ipsos). I acknowledge that it is this kind of changes worldwide that encourages various countries to talk and follow up. Originated from the transnational women’s liberation will then come the domino effect where results are realized and considered.

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Through the high points and low points of our reality and the manner in which ladies are seen and regarded, it is satisfying to realize that there has been a type of positive directional changes. The way that these issues have been common in all nations on the planet for whatever length of time that anybody can recall is pitiful, and the time it has taken for individuals to attempt to change, however at any rate it is being perceived at this point. I accept that it takes not just a solid gathering of women’s activists to begin the change yet in addition a solid and clear government that is battling for equity of their kin. When our reality can fix sexual orientation-based viciousness, the rights ladies have in relational unions and their families, and begin improving their perspectives on ladies making an increasingly joined network around the world.

Works Cited Page:

  • “Connect with us.” Oxfam South Africa, Oxfam South Africa, 2016, www.oxfam.org.za/what-we-do/programmes/womens-rights-and-gender-justice-info/.
  • “South Africa.” Countries and Their Cultures, www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/South-Africa.html.
  • Nolundi. “Customary Marriages in South Africa: Understanding The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998.” South African History Online, 15 Sept. 2017, www.sahistory.org.za/article/customary-marriages-south-africa-understanding-recognition-customary-marriages-act-1998.
  • Ferree, Myra Marx, and Aili Mari Tripp. “Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights .” New York University Press, 2006
  • “Polls show some improvements in South African perceptions of women.” Ipsos, 8 Aug. 2017, www.ipsos.com/en-za/polls-show-some-improvements-south-african-perceptions-women.
  • Pulitzercenter. “South Africa: Law of the Land.” Pulitzer Center, 2 Oct. 2017, pulitzercenter.org/reporting/south-africa-law-land.
  • Family law and marriage laws, www.endvawnow.org/en/articles/764-family-law-and-marriage-laws.html.
  • “Women and Politics in Africa Today.” Democracy in Africa, democracyinafrica.org/women-politics-africa-today/.


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