Language, Gender and Women Development in South Africa

Elliot Mthembeni Mncwango, Monica Dudu Luvuno


The issues discussed in this article are about language discrimination, struggle for gender equality and women development - including in education, household income and unemployment. The article also discusses gender and sexism in language and how this ought to change, as well as the development of women in areas of education and household income. Examples of gender discrimination and sexism have been drawn, largely, from isiZulu, but generalisations are made, as isiZulu is not the only language that the article identifies as discriminatory and sexist. The objectives were to show how isiZulu differentiates between men and women in Zulu society, and to examine whether it is still sexist, despite the acceptance of the South African Constitution of 1996, which is against unfair discrimination of women by society. The study relied on published literature and the statistics pre- and post-apartheid. This was in order to compare and contrast the status of women during the periods in question. It found that more female-headed households, relative to male-headed households, had no income in 2001 than in 1996. On education it found, among other things, that the drop in the enrolment of girls exceeded that of boys.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n2p245

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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