Towards Equality : - Oppressed Non-White Women in Cape Town, South Africa

University essay from Växjö universitet/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskap; Växjö universitet/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskap



Authors: Sara Haugbak & Jenny Thomsen

Title: Towards Equality – Oppressed Non-White Women in Cape Town, South Africa

Subject: Sociology

Level: Undergraduate thesis, D-level, 10 p.

Department: School of Social Science

Tutor: Svante Lundberg

Supervisor: Anders Nilsson

Prior to the first democratic election in 1994, South Africa experienced the racist and sexist legislation of apartheid. The democratisation was surrounded by violent struggles amongst the non-white population and the issue regarding gender had to step aside in favour of the struggle against racial discrimination.

This study focuses on how the lives of the underprivileged non-white women in Cape Town are affected by the post-apartheid changes. This area will be divided in to four more specific topics: civil society, human rights, collaboration between civil society and the Government and power structures that affect the development and lives of the women.

Our methodology is based on interviews with women with insight in the problem area, participant observation, and secondary material constituted by legal sources, reports and statistics.

The main findings can be summarised with mentioning that the deprivation are based upon five different dimensions: poverty, isolation, physical weakness, vulnerability and powerlessness. They are all closely linked to violations of human rights, and in order to create a complete picture power is of great significance. There are three different views on power, all of which are surrounded by a complexity of problems. This can be wrapped up in the statement that the society as a whole is permeated by underlying power structures that makes the non-white women of South Africa doubly exposed.

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