SA women face rights challenges

2013-03-09 12:11

Johannesburg - Women continued to face challenges in accessing their rights, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Friday.

"South African women still face serious challenges in realising their human rights as enshrined in the Constitution," deputy chair Pregs Govender said in a statement.

"We need to understand why there are still such high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment and violence directed at women and girls," said Govender.

Friday, 8 March, was International Women's Day.

Meanwhile, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: "Acts of brutal violence against women, rape and murder necessitate that we raise awareness to combat and prevent this scourge in our society."


The Young Communist League of SA said women continued to be on the receiving end of violence, particularly rape.

Spokesperson Khaya Xaba said the media was not doing enough in reporting violence against women.

"In order to highlight the scourge of rape every incident should be reported. One rape is one too many for society to accept," Xaba said.

The chair of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, congratulated women for the role they played in the liberation of the continent and the role they continued to play in the economic security of their families.

Dlamini-Zuma was speaking at a meeting held at African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

About 500 schoolchildren marched in central Johannesburg on Friday to protest against increasing levels of violence against women and children.

The Metro police's Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the marchers did not hand over a memorandum, but marched peacefully along Eloff, Plein, and Webber streets.

The African National Congress said no one could truly be free unless women were free.

"We bow our heads to the progressive women of the world for having consistently fought to reclaim their position in society," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

  • lacrimosewolf - 2013-03-09 12:17

    Ask the House of Traditional Leaders. Rural women in particular are denied access to justice. On a radio programme the other day I heard how a rural woman decided that the 'fine' her rapist was forced to pay to the Chief of her village, was not enough. So she reported the rape to the police. The Chief then kicked her out of her house and took all her possessions as retribution for not accepting this 'traditional' form of justice. The plight of rural women needs a higher profile in the media.

      Francois Smith - 2013-03-09 16:37

      Hey Jackson, whom are they fighting? Why should they be fighting in the 19th year of democracy? Please tell us how many rural women are allowed to own property (a constitutional right) and are equal before the law (another constitutional rigt)?

  • lacrimosewolf - 2013-03-09 12:23

    SAPS also needs to get rid of the 'quota' system. Cops discourage people from reporting rapes (and other crimes) to keep the statistics down. It's an absurd system that must end now

  • Sapper_Coetzee - 2013-03-09 19:11

    Do women have the right to have more than one husband? How many female chiefs are there? In one breath our government says women must be equal and with the very next breath they condone the discrimination of women. This is really IRONIC! Or is it IDIOTIC?

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