Country / Region profile of: South Africa

Until 1994, South Africa was ruled by a white minority government and an apartheid regime. Reform in 1994 marked a change in governance for the nation. The Constitution protects women’s right to equality and prohibits discrimination. On paper, South Africa has one of the world's most impressive legal arsenals for protecting women's rights. However, the gap between principle and practice is often wide. In some areas, particularly in politics, it does well. Women played a big part in the liberation struggle and the African National Congress (ANC) has promoted their cause. However, discriminatory practices, social norms and persistent gender stereotypes continue to determine women and men’s opportunities and interactions. South Africa is ranked 17 of 136 countries listed on the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) for 2013 and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1995. Civil society and female activists in South Africa are extremely active in working for peacebuilding and reconcilliation throughout Africa. In addition, they raise awareness regarding violence against women and work tirelessly for social change in their own country.

"I have a fair amount of faith that women won't sit back and allow South Africa to become a totally male-dominated new society. The women in South Africa have shown that they are strong, and I think they will make their voices heard." - Paula Hathorn


$ 3,618,000,000
Military expenditure
South Africa spends USD$3,618,000,000 on the military, including armed forces and peacekeeping forces, defence ministries, paramilitary forces, and military space activities.
Legal counsel for rape survivors
This amount could provide legal counsel to almost two million rape survivors for a decade
NAP 1325
South Africa does not have a National Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
WPS commitments
South Africa in 2015 said it will continue to give financial support to relevant projects carried out by the Slovenian non-governmental sector.