oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Constitutional equality and the position of women in a multi-cultural society

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Over the years various issues relating to the position of women in society in South Africa and the disadvantages suffered by them have been identified. However, it is particularly in recent years, and especially in the run up to the election, that these issues have been emphasised. Although the focus may vary according to the background and experience of the women concerned, there is consensus on the key issues to be faced. As highlighted in the ANC Reconstruction and Development Programme these issues include: 1) the legal status of women with regard to their rights, customary law, religious and cultural customs; 2) employment which includes equal opportunities and working conditions; 3) violence encompassing political intimidation, domestic violence and rape; 4) political awareness among women and the need for more active engagement in public life; and 5) the general status of women in their roles within both society and their families. The focus in the article is on the first and the las of these issues. More particularly, attention will be drawn to the concept of marriage and the position of married women in a multi-cultural society.

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