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Gayleen Cornelius on South Africa and Its Culture

February 8, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Gayleen Cornelius

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: February 8, 2019

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,030

Keywords: Africa, Afrikaner, culture, Dutch Reformed Church, Gayleen Cornelius, misogyny, patriarchal, South Africa.

Gayleen Cornelius on South Africa and Its Culture[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Almost everything about South Africa looks great on paper. Progressive legislation has been at the forefront of South African politics since Apartheid fell in 1994. Same-sex marriage was legalized a decade before the world’s biggest democracy; the USA. Women’s rights have been championed by the South African government as the cornerstone to societal progress. There are however numerous factors that continue to undermine these efforts and today South Africans feel that there is an untold war by a retaliatory traditionally patriarchal society against women.

Culture is definitely a huge issue in this case. South Africa is a multicultural society and more often than not, citizens and residents alike exchange various cultural attributes or get in conflict because of them. It just so happens that all of the traditional cultures in South Africa are patriarchal and this has fostered a general acceptance of misogyny by the South African society. Some cultures dictate that it is a husband’s right to beat his wife and so domestic violence is rife because of this. No one bats an eye or intervenes when this happens because of how South Africans respect culture more than the law. The Afrikaner community is also very patriarchal thanks to the teachings of the Dutch Reformed Church about the good housewife. Countless Afrikaner women are victims of many forms of domestic abuse from physical, verbal to financial abuse because they are expected to be subservient to their husbands.

There is a general retaliatory attitude against the progressive legislation the government puts because a lot of South Africans see it as an attack towards their culture. After same-sex marriage was legalized for instance, the main victims of homophobia were mainly lesbian women. There are accounts of what has been termed “correctional rape” by heterosexual males against lesbians all over South Africa up to this day at alarming rates. The perpetrators believe that their victims will be fixed after the rape, or maybe it’s just plain cruelty.

The crime rate in South Africa is one of the highest in the world, especially in big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. This goes hand in hand with the alarming rape rate in the country that has been declared an epidemic. Statistics show that hundreds of women are raped in South Africa every day, especially in neglected black townships that don’t get much attention from law enforcement because service delivery in most cities prioritizes white suburbs, thanks to Apartheid.

Poverty also undermines the efforts legislators have made to promote human rights. Income inequality is alarming in South Africa and despite the country being one of the richest in Africa, it is very easy to go homeless in South Africa rather than any other African country because of the nature of capitalism and white-owned real estate that hasn’t changed since Apartheid. It is common to see poor families marrying off their underaged daughters to make ends meet and this puts a lot of girls at risk of child marriages.

Tough immigration laws affect a lot of African migrant women who come to South Africa in search of a better life in their thousands every year. It’s very difficult for them to get permits to work and so they end up working in a very dangerous and unregulated sex work industry. A lot of them are at risk of rape, crime, STI’s and arrest. Some of them end up being sold off by women trafficking goons or as cheap labour to white farmers who treat them just like slaves. African immigrant women probably have it worse than anyone else in South Africa today.

The legislators probably overlooked these factors because they have undermined the impact progressive laws and efforts to empower women. More measures should be put in place to counter these problems and make it a better South Africa for women.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Editor, African Freethinker (South Africa).

[2] Individual Publication Date: February 8, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Cornelius G. The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking About [Online]February 2020; 1(B). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Cornelius, G. (2020, February 1). The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking AboutRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): CORNELIUS, G., The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking AboutAfrican Freethinker. 1.B, February. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Cornelius, Gayleen. 2019. “The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking About.” African Freethinker. 1.B. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Cornelius, Gayleen “The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking About.” African Freethinker. 1.B (February 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

Harvard: Cornelius, G. 2020, ‘The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking AboutAfrican Freethinker, vol. 1.B. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius>.

Harvard, Australian: Cornelius, G. 2020, ‘The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking AboutAfrican Freethinker, vol. 1.B., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Gayleen Cornelius. “The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking About.” African Freethinker 1.B (2020):February. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Cornelius G. The Most Important African Event That No One Is Talking About[Internet]. (2020, February; 1(B). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/south-africa-culture-cornelius.

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