Briefing from ROAPE Volume 17 Number 48
Impact of Apartheid on Women's Education in SA
While the proportions of their age group in school at primary, secondary and tertiary levels is quite high for black South Africans, relative to the situation in other African states, they face an authoritarian education system which is still riven by inequality. The expansion of education for all groups has formed part of the strategy of the government both to create skills needed for the economy and, through limited individual improvement, to stave off black discontent. That the policy has had inherent contradictions is evident from the widespread disruption in black schools which has characterised recent years. But it is important to note also that even where opportunities have increased, they have been unequally distributed throughout the population. In particular SA suffers, as do so many other countries, from gender inequality in education. Black women suffer doubly, by virtue of race and of gender. This article examines the dimensions of that inequality at different levels and in respect of different population groups.