Students’ perceptions on gender equality in the current South African context
Prior to the introduction of democracy in South Africa in 1994, gender equality did not receive the attention it deserved; however, the mandate for gender equality is now enshrined in the 1996 Constitution of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of cultural practices on gender equality as well as the current state thereof, in the democratic dispensation in South Africa. The study employed a survey design and the sample consisted of 74 third year students in a rural South African university. Data was collected by means of a self-constructed questionnaire while the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 25) was used to analyse data. The findings reveal that traditional and cultural practices tend to impact negatively on the implementation of gender equality, especially in the rural areas of South Africa. Stereotypical beliefs about gender traits and abilities are some of the barriers to women’s advancement to senior positions in the workplace.
Keywords: Empowerment; under-representation; household; gender equality; discriminatory laws; constitution; leadership