On August 9, 2023, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Women’s Day celebrations that girls are smarter than men. He said this in reference to the recent matric results, which showed that girls are doing better than boys in all subjects. Ramaphosa said it was an indication that young women “are on the rise” in South Africa and action must be taken to support their education.
[WATCH] President Cyril Ramaphosa says girls are smarter than boys, making reference to matric results. "Yes, you only need to check the matric results, you will see that girls are surging forward". #WomensDay2023 #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/2uCodQ2C8v
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) August 9, 2023
Ramaphosa’s speech provoked mixed reactions. Some people agree, saying that matric results are proof that girls are just as capable as boys, if not more so. Others disagree, saying that Ramaphosa is making a generalization and that there are many intelligent men in South Africa. There is no doubt that girls do well in school in South Africa. In the 2023 matric results, girls achieved an overall pass rate of 78.2%, while boys achieved a pass rate of 70.5%. This is a big gap, it is clear that girls outperform boys in all subjects.
However, it is important to note that there are still many challenges faced by girls in South Africa. They are more likely to drop out of school than boys and be victims of bullying. Ramaphosa’s statement reminds us that we must do more to support girls’ education in South Africa. We must ensure that they have a good education and we must create a good environment for them to learn.
Only then can we truly say that girls are as smart as boys and have the same chance of success in life.