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The Cost of Discrimination: Abdia Naidoo

June 8, 2016
Cost of Discrimination
1 min read
The Cost of Discrimination: Abdia Naidoo
The Cost of Discrimination: Abdia Naidoo

Iranian Baha'is are denied access to higher education. Not A Crime's The Cost of Discrimination video series tells the stories of another country – South Africa, which barred “non-whites” from educational opportunities equal to those for “whites” during Apartheid – to connect that history to the current persecution of the Baha'is in Iran.

Abdia is a nurse from Johannesburg. She was categorised as “colored” during apartheid. Her race was changed twice from “Cape Malay” to “Cape Colored.” She was denied access to the better white schools, and was not allowed to the black schools. There were separate “colored” schools for those of mixed origin.

She completed her schooling and was given an option of only two career choices to pursue, nursing or teaching. Abdia settled on nursing and went to a colored nursing school associated with a colored hospital.

As a nurse, Abdia was taught that white people had a lower pain threshold than black people and needed more care. This affected her treatment when dealing with birthing women. She believed that the black women felt less pain than the white women. “You didn’t question these things, it was just the way it was.”

Abdia believes if she had left the country to study, she could have become a doctor, but she felt a devotion to her country and was inclined to stay and serve people there. It was only later in life that she began to believe in equality and saw herself as an equal to the white people.


Read more about and from The Cost of Discrimination video series.  

The Cost of Discrimination: Khoeli Pholosi

The Cost of Discrimination: Peter Mputle







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