The Fight for Women in South Africa

Women in South Africa

The life of a woman in rural parts of South Africa is quite similar to that of the slaves in America during the 18th century. Their lives are basically controlled by the men of their village. Women are expected to do the hard manual labor, watch the children, follow the husbands around, and keep the house clean. While the wives are busy doing all this, the husbands are off drinking with their friends. The easy question would be if the women are unjustly treated why don't they stand up for themselves? The answer lies in the fact that most of these women have no idea how poorly they are treated. "Women hold up half the sky," (Half the Sky 207) and so they should be treated. 

Problems that are Faced

There are many problems that go beyond the visible limitations of women's daily lives in South Africa. The main three problems are poverty, HIV/AIDS, and rape crimes. 
  • The poverty is due mainly to the fact that many women in South Africa are not educated and therefore cannot hold a job and produce an income for their families. Without an income their husbands will not take them seriously and the women will be stuck being a house wife for the rest of their lives. This problem goes back to the main problem of education. An educated women can get a job which would allow for income to be brought into her home, respect to get gained from her husband, and a sense of self accomplishment which could inspire women around her to strive for a better life.
  • "Almost one-in-three women aged 25-29... are living with HIV" (AVERT) in South Africa. These figures are unheard of in America. The thought of that even being possible is astounding. Take a minute and think about six women in your life, and then take two of them and imagine that they are most likely going to die from HIV. Once again the problem traces back to education. It has been proven that educated girls and women are much less likely to involve themselves in sexual activities which would greatly reduce the number of women with HIV.
  • Rape is increasing in rates that are unheard of in other parts of the world. "Sexual violence against children, including the raping of infants, has increased 400% over the past decade," (Dempster, 2002). In a country that is thought to be one of the more civilized in the African continent, how can the rate of rapes on children alone be rising so high? The young children of South Africa need to be educated so that they will be able to recognize situations in which they are in danger and the truth of how brutal rape is, before they find out for themselves.