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By definition we are looking at equality, a society where females are regarded as equals to males, where discrimination does not

occur and where resources are fairly distributed. Our stance on this rather delicate issue, is simply to request aid in the enforcement of womens rights and with such aid we feel as shall be presented in this essay, that together we will be able to work towards balancing out the rights of both males and females within south Africa. South Africa as a nation has the led the way from the depths of apartheid to establishing its first black president. Naturally we would like to approach this same issue with optimism and concern of the enforcement of certain rules and regulations regarding womens rights. Essentially one must bear into account current affairs and statistics regarding womens rights. Women hold a healthy percentage of parliamentary seats- 45% in lower or single house. Section 12 of the South African constitution states; everyone has the rights to freedom and the right to be free from all forms of violence. The criminal law amendment act 2007 has established minimum sentences for rape, and has modified the evidential requirements for proving rape. In 1993 a law was passed abolishing a previous one which made the father in cases of divorce hold custody rights by default. In the same year Women were granted the same ownership rights to men The domestic violence act of 1998 was passed to protect women from violence in the household. The end of apartheid in 1993 effectively provided many equality rights for all groups of South African society. However there is astounding evidence to suggest that, despite such laws being passed there are still fundamental issues with womens rights in South Africa. It can be argued that the physical integrity of women is not being sufficiently protected in south Africa. According to amnesty international rape affects 120 people per 100,000 inhabitants- the highest recorded incident rate in the world. Despite this contradicting the law, there is valid reasoning and understanding as to why there is such a high incident rate in south Africa. This is due to enforcement of the law, and the inability of judges to condemn rapists to an acceptable sentence length. Female genital mutilation in not a wide issue in South Africa however does occur in some rural regions. Rural regions are also home to inequality pertaining ownership rights despite the law stating otherwise. Urban regions in comparison present women to have a much fairer access to property. In addition women are also second to obtaining financial loans, and despite some financial institutions specifically targeting and therefore providing for women the same issues occur; women in rural communities are overlooked and women require their husbands permission to obtain financial support. This is a form of discrimination, leaving women with the only option of borrowing from friends and family. Women are effectively being excluded from what is an essential entitlement for any society. Cultural traditions also overcome legislation in certain cases, for example in customary law men can prevent women from working outside the home.

The domestic violence act is also undermined by the fact that social attitudes condone such violence, and that the state is simply unable to act upon it. For example, only 4.1% of complaints about rapes result in convictions. The abolishment of specific sexual offences units has further undermined the protection of women from violence. With all this in mind we must question what is required of the South African delegates. Our job is to address the following key matters; 1 .Protecting women from violence by thoroughly implementing the domestic violence act, and by forming a more rigorous judicial system 2. Improve awareness of womens rights in society, through several media campaigns and promotion of womens rights. 3. Increase womens access to employment, and therefore reducing the occurrence of sexual harassment 4. Eliminate cultural stereotypes which affect both urban and rural communities and enforce the acts passed previously more so onto rural communities. 5. Establish a more effective policing system to reduce domestic violence, and to then deal with it accordingly. We feel all this can be achieved within the next decade. By identifying our current faults we are now able to establish and further these solutions. However a fundamental issue is aid, money which South Africa would require to address and deal with these issues. The distribution and acquisition of this aid is something which needs to be addressed. We feel that all member nations of the UN should be required to provide a set annual percentage of their GDP to the CEDAW. The CEDAW can then look to establish, within each nation, a branch which deals with womens rights in that nation. These branches will act as a go between with the UN and governments around the world to improve efficiency in providing reports regarding womens rights and solving the issues presented on the reports. These branches will have elected officials. CEDAW will use the annual aid it obtains, and establish this network of branches which will enforce human rights. It will delegate the aid to countries like South Africa, where womens rights need to be enforced, and where the implementation of womens rights is simply unaffordable in a global recession. We feel womens rights can be addressed, only if, collectively and globally we pitch in to help fellow countries in reaching a solution which addresses one of the most basic human deficienciesinequality.