One man's meat is another man's poison and so in the pursuit of power and control,ambitious men and women show no compunction in crushing the freedoms of other people. South African women,like most other women everywhere else,deeply desire and fight for freedom from repression. Sadly fighting for such freedom often involves trampling on the freedom of another.
When and if such freedom gets gained,are women really totally free? In our liberated free-world society of which South Africa claims to be part off,why do people,most notably women,still live "in chains" under such brutal masters as poverty,hunger,food deprivation,ill health and such? How can anyone say they free whilst still living under such terrible conditions?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in 1762:"Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.That's a nice thought that is "born free". We've become so use to living under a system of government where it don't matter whether or not we spent our entire existence "in chains" being imprisoned and being robbed by governments that is more concern with their infighting over who controls South Africa's wealth and that don't guarantee lasting happiness or satisfaction in life for its people regardless of race or colour of their skins.
Certain South African cultures have in the past downgraded women as if they were inferior human beings or persons. South Africa's ethnic and cultural diversity has long held the believe that women are less important than men and less deserving of power or authority than men. If you take the family headship arrangement for example in rural areas of South Africa,then women is almost always seen walking a few paces behind the man.
In ultra-conservative Afrikaners or Boers society, the biblical notion that a women's contributions to their society should normally be approved by or be on behalf of Afrikaner men. I think the Bible speaks of "a capable wife" which outlines and emphasizes her value to the household and the community. It probably must be how certain Afrikaners came to have that idea of theirs!
On the otherhand,it looks like some South African women in leadership roles and high level careers often try to get there by using the tactics and approach of the men, when in the past they may have needed only their more gender specific abilities to do so.
On the African continent more than 75% of women work on farmland, cultivating crops,growing food, tending small family plots, or caring for livestock. In Asia it's between 60 and 65% of women that does it and in South America it's 30% plus of the women. Discrimination against women means even though they do get paid,women generally earn less than men even in highly developed countries like America and in Europe just because they are women.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said:"Study after study has shown that there is no effective development strategy in which women do not play a central role. When women are fully involved, the benefits can be seen immediately: families are healthier and better fed; their income, savings and reinvestment go up. And what is true of families is also true of communities and, in the long run, of whole countries".
Despite all their hard work in so many areas,many women rarely get credit for what they do.
English poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge once wrote:"If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us".Even if we manage to eradicate racism,sexism and class society altogether,there will always be someone that is more talented,intelligent,beautiful,physically dexterous and socially gifted than the person next to him or her. Within a complete meritocracy society where everybody is his/her own star-bellied sneeth, hierarchy cadres of haves and have nots will always exist.
1.Women and the World Economic Crisis.
2.Women and Health.