Women in South Africa: Striving for full equality post-apartheid
Gibbons, Judith L.
Poelker, Katelyn E.
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Life for South African women post-apartheid reflects both legislative advances and lingering challenges. Despite progress in the post-apartheid world, South Africa is still characterized by a high level of economic disparity, meaning that daily life for individual women can be quite different depending on one’s race, socioeconomic status, and age. Thus, the concept of intersectionality is critical to understand what it means to be a woman in South Africa today. Despite advances in girls’ access to education at both the primary and secondary levels, women still face significant challenges when they enter the workforce by way of occupational segregation and stratification. As is the case internationally, South African women are also more likely to engage in unpaid work and to be employed in the informal sector. Taken together, these make it more likely that South African women live in poverty and become victims of interpersonal violence. With respect to health, the risk of HIV infection and the transmission of HIV from mother to baby are paramount concerns for South African women’s health.