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Women's civic struggles in South Africa

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The women rights and civil struggle in South Africa are great problems nowadays. It is important to mention that African women are remaining among the most deprived of civil rights women in the world.

There is a problem with women’s sexual rights in South Africa. Feministic movement functions, but it is often not accepted by society and some political groups. They consider such movement western and strange to their traditional culture. Also, Christian church limits public discussions of sexual rights. The other problem is that women movement there is half-official (Hassim).

Many women have problems with sexual violence. Nearly one third of women will be raped in their lifetime (Moffet). They are often afraid to challenge the abuser because of traditional respect to senior men’s power. Also, sexual violence in South Africa is used as social and political impact against the political enemy or within political groups. In addition, more that half marriages involve physical and sexual violence. The important reason of growing violence is social and political instability. Violence regards not only to women, but also to men and children. The laws proclaim gender equality, but in real life traditions often play more important role. However, many people are struggling against such traditional view (Hassim).

The main reasons of sexual violence in South Africa are masculinities found in all patriarchal societies. Moreover, many men believe that women “are willing” to be raped; and by raping women they are helping they society to keep women in certain limits. Most men conduct violence not because they want to do it, but because the society tells them that they can or even should do it without being blamed. Even famous people are involved in rape legal cases. Women in fact do not have all rights proclaimed. Their public equality in fact does not mean private equality (Moffett).

There are also other social problems of women in Africa. Women in Nigeria are becoming involved in the Niger Delta conflict. The main reasons are the marginalization and discrimination of women in oil economy.

People in Nigeria are disappointed with international oil companies that work there. Life level is low. Groups on local level are developing, including women groups. There are many women groups in Nigeria, created on local and national level. There is also the NGO sector, struggling for women rights. The main aim of women groups in Nigeria is struggling for women’s right and better life and against unjust and unfair practices of government.

Current financial crisis caused many social, economic and ecological problems connected with exploitation of oil and gas resources. Women and their children are mostly affected by pollution as well as economic problems. Women are often discriminated in Nigeria. Usually women groups struggle for their and their husbands’ employment, better living standards, resource control and women rights. Women’s civil struggles are often successful in Nigeria (Ikelegbe).

So, three articles concerning women rights and social struggle in African countries were studied. There are many important problems of women in Africa. One of them is connected with gender inequality and sexual violence. Although many women groups struggle against it, social and political problems as well as traditional culture are remaining obstacles to their win.

The other important issues include social and economic problems. These issues are weighty in Nigeria, so many women groups are struggling. It is important to state that social struggle brought more success than feministic movement and movement against violence in African countries.

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