It is clear that no legitimate objective is advanced by excluding domestic workers from COIDA. If anything, their exclusion has a significant stigmatising effect which entrenches patterns of disadvantage based on race, sex and gender…. In considering those who are most vulnerable or most in need, a court should take cognisance of those who fall at the intersection of compounded vulnerabilities due to intersecting oppression based on race, sex, gender, class and other grounds. To allow this form of state-sanctioned inequity goes against the values of our newly constituted society namely human dignity, the achievement of equality and ubuntu. To exclude this category of individuals from the social security scheme established by COIDA is manifestly unreasonable.
This is what I call the productive power of the Constitution: Constitutional rights can have an effcet far beyond the mere invalidation of existing pieces of legislation. Because the law is also productive – by that I mean it helps to produce the reality we live in – constitutional challenges can have far-reaching social and political effects by changing the way people think about their world.
Of course, it can also produce powerful forces of resistance. After the discussions are over, there is always the likelihood of a backlash and more repression. But that backlash may again, in turn, lead to resistance by gay and lesbian groups now emboldened.BACK TO TOP