Conflict between traditional cultural practices for women and South African government laws
Traditional cultural practices mirror or replicate the values and beliefs held by members of the community. Throughout the world, every social grouping has specific traditional practices, some of which are beneficial to all, while others have become harmful to a specific group, such as women. Like in some African states, these traditional cultural practices are performed in South Africa and are violating women’s rights. Women’s right are human rights. The South African Constitution is one of the most progressive in the world, and notably includes the Bill of Rights which provides protection of socio-economic and cultural rights. Cultural rights are protected in Section 30 and 31 of the constitution, although such protection is not without limitation. This highly complex interplay and competition between human rights and cultural rights, which are manifested through cultural practices, is the golden thread that traces through this paper. The paper argues that there is conflict and the lack of balance between diverse cultural practices and legal or constitutional framework which promotes the value of human dignity and equality, especially for women. These practices are reviewed in connection with the South African government laws.
Keywords: cultural practices, conflict, women, SA Constitution, laws