South Africa is a society in transition. South Africa ushered in a new era of democracy and fundamental rights in 1994. Its Constitution, widely recognized as one of the most progressive in the world makes equality, dignity and freedom first-order values. Specific commitments to equality on the basis of race and gender are recognized as foundational values of the Republic. The Constitution requires both private and public bodies to avoid discriminating unfairly.
In recent years some of the secular communal structures in the South African Jewish community have adopted an unpublished but acknowledged policy of barring female voices—especially in song—from the communal, secular space. This is a form of unfair discrimination against women in the Jewish community that fundamentally offends their dignity.