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SA is one of the continent’s leaders when it comes to furthering the rights of women. It has raised the share of women serving on company boards and increased the number of women in middle management. In politics, its cabinet is one of just three in Africa that is gender balanced. And SA is also one of only three countries on the continent that has enshrined equal rights for women into law.

However, there is still a very long way to go as recent protests against unacceptably high levels of violence against women in the country have starkly illustrated. Although SA has laws that protect women from violent assault, enforcement is clearly inadequate and the number of attacks remains extremely high. Despite the presence of laws against rape, for instance, only 8% of rapes reported in 2012 ended in convictions...

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