South African women still live in 'apartheid-lite' society

09 August 2020 - 00:16 By Olwethu Leshabane

James Brown wrote the critically acclaimed song, It's a Man's World, but it Wouldn't be Nothing Without a Woman or a Girl, back in 1966. The lyrics are revered worldwide and continue to be part of our everyday conversations. But for some reason society doesn't seem to resonate with, or completely refuses to acknowledge, the second part of the lyrics. For the longest time, women have been disenfranchised in almost all areas of society and the economy. Almost 10 years prior to the release of the song, close to 20,000 South African women, from all races and across all walks of life, marched to the Union Buildings on August 9 1956 to put up a fight against carrying passes - a discriminatory tool whose purpose was ultimately the suppression of freedom of movement.

By limiting movement, you limit the overall potential of human beings. You take away their dreams and sanity. Movement creates opportunities for wealth and prosperity. Sixty-four years later, the movement of women is still restricted, albeit no longer by formal discriminatory legislation or an apartheid government, but by society and business, predominantly under the leadership of men...

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