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Many girls all over the world, including in South Africa face a myriad of extra burdens and challenges not faced by boys. Whether it be lack of empowerment or lack of resources girls often find themselves on the back foot.

They face damaging gender norms, which seek to relegate women to certain roles, and face a heightened risk of discrimination and sexual abuse.

Faced with an uphill struggle it is not surprising that UN Women, which champions gender equality has highlighted that over 2 billion women don’t have the same employment opportunities as men.

In South Africa, many in our population, particularly women, face the triple burden of poverty, inequality and unemployment. This unequal development often starts at birth and continues throughout various stages of life, which leads to greater disparities among girls and boys.

As a society, we can and must do better to ensure that the noble aims of our Constitution become a lived reality for all. We must reject the dangerous societal and cultural norms that give rise to child and women abuse.


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