Women's Role In Society 

After 21 Years Of Democracy 
in South Africa

Masina Koetle, 21-year-old, student from Rosebank College who is currently studying a BA Degree in Administration, believes the world is starting to recognise the role of women in society.

Koetle believes the portrayal of women in media contributes to a sexist society.

"I think it's everything from the way we view things and how women are portrayed in the media. Even if it’s an advertisement (ad), the first thing you see is a woman being half naked. Even in an Handy Andy ad, it always has to be a woman. If we are more than that, why does it always have to be a woman when we see people cleaning in advertisements," says Koetle.

Koetle believes society is sexist because men and women are not placed on the same scale.

"I think the focus should shift and men should also be placed on the spotlight if we claim to be equal…I think there should a balance…men too need to be placed on cleaning ads so that they can be placed on the same scale when it comes to equality," adds Koetle.

University of Johannesburg (UJ) Bcom Accounting student, Vinchesco Marney, says women's participation in social issues has decreased in the past few years.

Speaking to SABC Digital News Marney says: "Usually we used to see women marches and standing up against violence and abuse against them, but in our days you don’t see it a lot."

Marney believes that male alcohol abuse leads to women being abused in our society.

“And also it depends on the person, the person they are with, the person they have a relationship with. So I think with the males if they are brought up in the right way and are taught to respect women, that will be a better change,” says Marney.

University of Johannesburg (UJ) LLB student, Charlene McClain, says the role of women in society is still important. 

"Women's month means we get to be appreciated for the things we do for the people around us. I mean women are important and take care of households and businesses and in every part in the world," says McClain. 

McClain believes the role of women is not only limited to the kitchen. 

“I think women have so much that they are doing, they don't have time for the kitchen. Yes you can come back and be a wife and be a businesswoman, you can tackle anything as a woman with regards to the role that you have play,” adds McClain. 

McClain believes there are still people who think a woman cannot be equal to a man. 

“If a woman is dictating they say that she is controlling. I think women must be regarded as important as a man,” says McClain.

Wits University Student, James Fatana, 3rd year Psychology student believes women's month is a great platform for women to celebrate their role in society.

"In the country, I think it’s about time for them to be acknowledged and recognised," says Fatana.

Fatana says masculism in the working environment is still a problem for most women, as companies prefer to trust men more.

“I have an aunt, I think in terms of job opportunities she’s been crying saying that where she is currently working male are dominating in terms of growth. Especially when it comes to positions, companies do not trust women, it is more of a masculine environment,” Fatana adds.

Fatana says traditional rules that subject women to cooking and cleaning should change.


By Neo Motloung