The global debate on multiculturalism and women's human rights in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Conference or seminar papers
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2003
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.A.Bentley
KEYWORDS: CULTURAL DIVERSITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, POLITICAL CULTURE, WOMEN
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2505

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

Conducting research on the rights of women and children in South Africa, particularly from the perspective of their woeful under servicing, is a daunting task. On the face of it, it would seem that we in South Africa are very careless of the rights of our most vulnerable citizens. And yet in considering the" real" rights of women and children in this country (by which is meant those enshrined in law) we find that there is a raft of legislation, both domestic and international, as well as the Constitution and the National Action Plan on Human Rights, aimed at the protection of the human rights of women and children. This is buttressed by numerous agencies, NGO's and Commissions also charged with these duties. The challenge therefore is to attempt to reach some understanding of the disconnection that occurs between the declared rights and identifiable duties towards women and children, and the systematic and real violation of those which takes place to such an extent that, by some accounts, it has become part of a new national "culture". However this project is not indented as an end in itself. Its purpose is to investigate, raise questions, and hopefully contribute to the ongoing debate about human rights and multiculturalism in the South African context. The purpose is also one of developing capacity, as this researcher approaches the subject as a student rather than as a commentator.