May 27, 2009

The South African constitution and women’s rights

Filed under: manifesto — newritings @ 4:25 pm

stamp it

stamp it

This is merely a note to share this resource, it worth having, the constitutional court of South Africa. The constitutional court is but one, albeit the most revered and powerful institution in our country, as we have other instruments we too can use to make our country more just. One simple example I do not get tired of sharing: join up with others, in a union, youth group, feminist organisation, and organise!

This is from the constitutional court:

Section 9 – Equality

Women are obviously protected by the full range of rights guaranteed in the new Constitution – the rights to life, dignity, privacy and others. But they receive specific protection in section 9, entitled “Equality”. It says:

“(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.”

The prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of gender, sex, pregnancy and marital status is clearly intended to protect women. The grounds “sex”, which is a biological feature, and “gender”, a social artefact, are both included – perhaps unnecessarily. But the result is that this section leaves no doubt that no unfair discrimination based on any feature of being a woman will be tolerated.


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