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ANC calls for alleged Stellenbosch University study on coloured women to be withdrawn

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The ANC in the Western Cape has called for Stellenbosch University to withdraw what the party claims is a study alleging that coloured women have an increased risk of low cognitive functioning.

The African National Congress (ANC) Western Cape branch wants Stellenbosch University to withdraw an alleged study which supposedly claims that coloured women are at risk of having low cognitive functioning due to low education levels and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. In a statement released on Monday, 29 April 2019, the ANC said that it believes that the study is full of discrimination and carries a racially-charged stigma.

“Insinuating that coloured women are “intellectually deficient” is harmful and exaggerated. Given the limitations raised in the study itself exemplified by the limited sample size of 60 women in comparison with the entire “Coloured” population in South Africa, reinforces undesirable race and gender relations in a post-Apartheid SA, and undermines the quest for democratic ideals,” read the statement.

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The ANC also called on the Gender Commission to review the study, asking it to add its voice, should they find that the contents of the study infringe on the rights of women in general.

“The greatest risk with this finding is the “generalization” and the impact thereof in terms of perpetuating existing stereotypes. Like most, particularly black communities in South Africa, “coloured” communities are already under siege in terms of socio-economic challenges such as youth unemployment, lack of access to quality education and training, safety and security issues, employment equity concerns and therefore should not be isolated regarding effects of such deprivation if such effects are real as purported by the study.”

The study, allegedly conducted by Sharné Nieuwoudt, Kasha Elizabeth Dickie, Carla Coetsee, Louise Engelbrecht and Elmarie Terblanche, has gained much criticism and has been labelled as demeaning, dehumanizing and racist by the newly formed political party People’s Republic of South Africa (Prosa).

Prosa president Bulelwa Bomela said, “We have read the ‘research’ and I cannot understand how the university’s ethics committee was so nonchalant to approve such research in the first place.

“We strongly call on our peers in the profession to do a thorough review on this research document, and to discredit it to be as useless as the bonded toilet paper it represents.”

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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