Still a man’s world despite gender equality laws
SOUTH Africa may have progressive gender equality laws, but a survey released by Statistics South Africa this week shows women still earn less, are less likely to find a job, and work harder at home than males.
Statistician-General Pali Lehola released the survey on Thursday, the third since 1998. It looks at where people live, mortality rates, employment, household activity and education. It does not, however, present any information on gender-based violence.
South Africa is ranked fourth among 87 countries covered by the 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in which “discriminatory practices, social norms and persistent stereo- types often shape inequitable access to opportunities, resources and power for women and girls”.
This meant that “serious genderrelated challenges persist, including unacceptable levels of gender-based violence”.
The report found that in jobs in both formal and informal sectors, 47.4 percent of men are likely to be employed, against just 34.6 percent of women.
Broken down by race, black women are the least likely to have a job, with just 30.8 percent being employed, while white males had a 72.6 percent employment rate.
Men are more likely to be doing paid work for market-related activities, while women are more likely to be engaged in unpaid work such as subsistence farming.
The statistics showed 69.1 percent of men are engaged in “marketrelated activities”, against 55 percent of women. The report also found “marked gender disparities” around payment for work.
Women dominate the lowest earning category, with 20.5 percent of women earning R1 000 a month, compared with 9.7 percent of men.
Men dominate the top end, with 11 percent earning more than R16 000 a month, compared with just 5.4 percent of women.
In hourly earnings, men continue to get more than women, with black women earning the least, at R23 an hour. Black men average R25.30 an hour, while coloured women earn about R28.80 an hour. Coloured men earn R38.30 an hour. Indian women and men earn R49.20 an hour and R51.9 an hour respectively. White women earn R63.70 while white men earn R91.50 an hour.
And after a hard day’s work, it’s women who come home to do unpaid household chores, take care of family and fetch water and firewood.
In all racial groups, employed women did more household chores than men, but black women did the most, spending nearly four hours. And though black men only did half of this work at 105 minutes, they still did more than men in other racial groups. Indian men did the least, at 62 minutes a day.
When water needs to be fetched from less than 100 metres, the work is almost equally shared. But if the walk is more than 1km, nearly twice as many women as men do the fetching.