Striking the Rock: Confronting Gender Equality in South Africa

Citation:

Andrews, Penelope E. 1998. “Striking the Rock: Confronting Gender Equality in South Africa.” Michigan Journal of Race & Law 3 (2): 307–39.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews

Abstract:

This article analyzes the status of women’s rights in the newly democratic South Africa by examining rights guaranteed in the Constitution and possible conflicts between the principle of gender equality and the recognition of indigenous law and institutions. It focuses on the South African transition to democracy and the influence that feminist agitation at the international level has had on women’s organizational attempts within South Africa. An investigation is made into the historic position of customary law in South Africa and questions are raised about its place in the new democratic dispensation. The article suggests that, although South African women have benefited from the global feminist endeavor, they have indigenized the shape and substance of women’s rights to accommodate conditions peculiar to South Africa. Andrews concludes that only in balancing respect for indigenous culture and the ultimate goal of eradication of all forms of sexism will women in South Africa make headway in their quest for rights.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.