Empowerment and access to opportunities in South Africa: can gender equality be achieved?





Empowerment, Gender Equality, Gender Discrimination, South Africa


The purpose of this paper is to examine the unequal and inadequate access to opportunities by both men and women in South Africa, as well as the progress made in achieving gender equality and promoting women's empowerment, which are embedded in the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, respectively. The paper is virtuously theoretical and relies upon literature to present its arguments, soliciting information from published journals, reports, and previous studies. Access is primarily a gendered phenomenon worldwide, pertaining to the subsets of, inter alia, access to information, rights, land, money, education, skills, political participation, and opinion. Gender equity and equality are high on the developmental agenda of women in almost every country. South Africa, being part of international treaties and conventions on gender equity, is obliged to advance the empowerment of women and eliminate all forms of gender discrimination. The development of women, their access to essential resources, and their participation in important positions of decision-making are still challenges in most countries. It is commonly known that everywhere in the world, women face constraints that limit their capacity to contribute to production, well-being, decision-making, growth, and most importantly, empowerment, which in turn promotes independence. Women face discrimination in access to productive resources such as land; they face wage inequality in rural labor markets; and they are also more likely to work part-time, seasonal, and/or low-paying jobs when engaged in wage employment. Despite the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 and the inauguration of the Annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children by the South African government, which are aimed at fighting the perpetual inequalities and abuse of women and children, gender inequality, women's disempowerment, and unequal access to opportunities are still predominant in the country.


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How to Cite

Masenya, M. J. (2023). Empowerment and access to opportunities in South Africa: can gender equality be achieved?. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 12(7), 405–412. https://doi.org/10.20525/ijrbs.v12i7.2797



Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences