Women, culture and inequality: human rights and the feminisation of poverty in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Conference or seminar papers
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2003
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.A.Bentley
KEYWORDS: CULTURAL DIVERSITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INEQUALITY, POVERTY, WOMEN
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2506

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Abstract

While poverty, privation and economic inequality continue to reflect racial inequalities, more significantly for the purposes of this paper, they entrench gender inequalities. Poverty in South Africa has a gender dimension that challenges the equal status of women in law, and poses a threat to the realisation of their equal human rights in practice. The "feminisation" of poverty is significant because poverty is experienced differently by women than by men. The problem is therefore not only statistical but rather that poverty for women tends to be more severe, and poses greater challenges for women who in addition bear the burden of caring for children under these circumstances, and so the issue is also one of the quality of that experience.