The development status of women in South Africa declined between 1996 and 2001. This study examined whether the decline was pervasive throughout the nine provinces, and whether any development patterns were apparent among the provinces. The findings revealed that women had lost ground across the board, both in absolute terms and relative to men. They also showed that certain ranking patterns prevailed among the nine provinces and, notably, that women in provinces with pre-existing poor development statuses may also be predisposed to a poor development status relative to men. This double burden may translate into a perpetuation of poverty for women who find themselves in these provinces.