Affirmative action proposal essay

Essay on Affirmative Action and Racial Equality The policies on affirmative action were proposed as a fractional remedy for the socio-economic impacts of past.
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Adele Thomas, director of the University of the Witwatersrand Business School in Johannesburg, suggested that suitable qualifications be required for promotion into managerial positions, such as an MBA which can help to raise their profile Cape Times In the private sector, women still hold marginal positions, yet their representation is exceptionally high in the Cabinet and in parliament. Women's key positions in government and parliament indicate that their status in politics is improving faster than in the private and public sectors.

It has been claimed that South Africa is ranked seventh in the world in terms of gender equity in government, since government sets out to promote their status and economic welfare. However, this is not the same in private and economic public sectors. Here women, especially black women, are not doing as well as expected, since preference is given, firstly, to black men and, secondly, with regard to gender, to white women.

White females outnumber black females in the private economic sector, which makes white females the second most overrepresented group in management. It is argued that women are faring well in government positions because they pose no threat there, since government and public decisions do not hold any major financial implications. On the other hand, decisions made in private and corporate organisations can influence economies and, therefore, have major implications.

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Women are therefore not yet seen or accepted as an integral part of decision-making in important financial and economic sectors. For equalopportunity policy and affirmative action legislation to be successful, therefore, corporate organisations need to become women-sensitive and women-friendly. Affirmative action and the education of women for the church ministry.

Thus far the article has focused on the educational, sociological and political situation in South Africa, since it was necessary for the author to ground the research in concrete reality. Affirmative action of women in ecclesiastical circles is somewhat more abstruse, simply because the judicial parameters do not always apply to the internal affairs of religious practices.

Often the Christian church and religious denominations preach equity, but when it comes to women and their advancement in leadership and rank, cultural and religious restrictions are applied, which are blatantly discriminatory. Be that as it may, at stake here is the struggle for justice, as well as moral and religious convictions. In the religious context, affirmative action, if considered as an issue of justice, is related to the personal integrity of those who follow Jesus, and it is beyond dispute that Jesus had women among his followers.

One of the tenants of Christianity is that every human person, regardless of race, gender, class or nationality, is fundamentally equal in dignity, since each person is created in God's image. The Second Vatican Council rejected all forms of discrimination based on race and gender by declaring: "With respect to the fundamental rights of human persons, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, colour, social condition, language, or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent" Gaudium et Spes It is, however, significant that justice and equity do not include any form of inclusivity concerning sacramental ministry and leadership, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church.

Some other Christian denominations have progressed towards female ordination, but with limited ministerial and leadership opportunities.

Benefits of Affirmative Action Programs Essay

All patterns and practices of exclusion concerning women continue to plague the church and religious practices in general in South Africa. The exclusion of women from full ministerial and religious educational advancement persists, and while there exists a moral obligation on church members to take positive steps to overcome this legacy of injustice, it appears that judicially administered affirmative action programmes in education and ecclesial employment are not applicable in religious circles.

As such, the core conviction concerning equal dignity of all human persons and the condemnation of discrimination based on gender still function in juxtaposition. While, for example, the Catholic Church's ethical tradition embraces the use of affirmative action as a concrete means of overcoming entrenched social practices concerning racial and gender bias, this ethical tradition does not seem to apply to gender equity. For this reason there appear to be a constant discrepancy between the sin of gender discrimination and the ethical obligation to apply affirmative action in the church.

Affirmative action is not window-dressing, and enforced affirmative action is not the answer to create a balance in the male-female ratio in the church. Equal opportunity exists only when people are given an equal chance to qualify for a given position, not by forcing an equal representation among those selected. Underqualification of women in the church is a reality because the prolonged suppression of women has robbed them of the chance to do so. One way of bringing women to active, recognised ministry and being eligible for church leadership is to find creative ways for them to develop and refine their own skills and giftedness and thus ensure that they have the same opportunities to meet the required standards.

This may include affirmative action. Only when we observe the active inclusion of women will it be evident that change has taken place in South Africa, namely a change in how women are viewed, the way women are treated and the opportunities that they are afforded to obtain qualifications. These signs will serve as the outward manifestation of a change of heart.

Essay on Affirmative Action

Education for women in the church should be the effect of change, and not the cause of it. Subliminal gender oppression and prejudices that militate against women's education. Important legislation on customary law, domestic violence and child maintenance has been passed, which has had a direct bearing on the quality of women's lives Employment Equity Commission Nevertheless, alarmingly high levels of violence against women, such as rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, teenage parenthood, lack of education opportunities, unemployment and sexual harassment, continue to cause havoc in the lives of South African women.

Even if there have been major successes in achieving gender equity at the political level, on the socioeconomic front, the battle is far from over. In this context, women are still regarded as second-class citizens, when compared with men, and most women accept secondary roles without hesitation.

In this regard, women are often their own worst enemy, since they seem to take pride in accepting these secondary roles out of fear of challenging the cultural and social status quo.

While recognition can be given to the democratic South African government for theoretically promoting women rights and equality, South Africans need to question their cultural and religious belief systems, which are based largely on their various sacred texts and cultural systems, 39 so as to renounce any cultural or social justification of violent discrimination towards women. Violence against women is both unethical and criminal. The author of this article asserts that serious deliberation needs to be undertaken to transform the injustices that still exist in South Africa, and this needs to be done by women.

The deconstruction of "life-denying gender ideologies", 40 which are contained in sacred texts, as well as in religious, cultural and social teachings and practices, needs serious scrutiny in the light of human rights and ethical guidelines. In the face of all the gender violence the majority of the population remains mute.

The entire South African population needs to wrestle genuinely with social and cultural justifications of gender violence. For this purpose, a "feminist cultural hermeneutic" needs to be applied. This mindset makes the task of African feminists very difficult, since feminists are aware that colonists and missionaries from Europe tended to demonise local cultures; as a result, feminism is regarded as an alien invasion. These same modern feminists need to ignore the intimidation produced by such a mindset and to allow "feminist cultural hermeneutics" to enhance that which is good in local culture and to deal with those aspects that undermine and minimise the lives of women.

It appears that some religious groups capitalise on cultural beliefs that deny women their rightful place, both in the church and in society, simply because culturally this was never a domain of women. Gender-sensitive cultural hermeneutics exacerbates the issue all the more. The author of this study does not deny that much of religious teaching regarding women was culturally bound, yet it is important to take a critical stance towards religious practices that exclude women from being full participants in all areas of life practices and belief systems that have proved harmful to women.

The author therefore suggests that the ethical principles embedded in feminist cultural hermeneutics be utilised as a means to counteract gender violence, both in religion and culture. It is particularly difficult to separate culture from life and religion in Africa. The conflation of religion and culture forms the foundation for the justification that men are superior to women, thus determining women's place in the family. Injustices and the denial of people's humanity has often been justified within the church and culture by alluding to so-called "biblical values" that render human rights worthless.

Sometimes the ambiguous link between human rights, religious and cultural beliefs is clearly illustrated in the conflict between human rights and the iniquitous nature and use of some "biblical values", as is illustrated in some of the human rights that the South African Constitution grants, such as the right of same-sex people to marry.

A most disturbing phenomenon is that violence against women has intensified to the point of becoming lethal in the case of black lesbians. Engendered homophobic and xenophobic victimisation has become a social disease, accompanied by abusive criminal intimidation.

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The author of this article purports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT people from poor black communities - and black lesbians, in particular - are disproportionately at risk of discrimination, since they face violence twice as often as heterosexual women. Yet the government is mute when it comes to this systemic homophobic prejudice. Therefore, all interventions crafted to address homophobic victimisation require a strong partnership between scholars, the state, the church and cultural groups.

The brunt of the new prejudices and violence is also being borne by foreigners, particularly black African foreigners. In a sense, apartheid has given way to hatred of black African foreigners xenophobia , with black African women foreigners as primary targets. It is suggested that much of this hostility towards black African foreigners has emerged because of the unfulfilled promises of the new regime in South Africa. To realise lasting social transformation, ethical and political scholars need to boldly confront South Africa's enduring legacy of inequality, discrimination and prejudice. To achieve the Constitution's promise of gender equality and social justice, more educational collaboration is required to develop an informed and unified strategy towards ensuring that all - and, specifically, women - are able to enjoy human rights.

Social ethicists need to build a collective morality that affirms human dignity and non-discrimination in a manner that is experienced in the lived reality of all those who are still discriminated against in South Africa. The religious and political leaders of South Africa are still not vocal enough in opposing the vicious injustices perpetrated against women.

This amounts to the same malicious practice whereby apartheid was substantiated by using a few unclear biblical, cultural and religious references.

The Affirmative Of Affirmative Action Essay

Nonetheless, before black politicians and social ethicists embark on the task of equalisation, personal, cultural, religious and social prejudices need to be confronted honestly. Until then, no amount of affirmative policies for women will eliminate the scourge of gender discrimination, abuse and violence, since discrimination and abuse militate against the moral and free pursuit of education for women.

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Essay on Affirmative Action and Racial Equality

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Manchester: Manchester University Press, Gerwel, J. Gilmour, D. Intention or in tension? Recent educational reforms in South Africa. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Societies.