Still a man’s world de­spite gen­der equal­ity laws

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - BIANCA CAPAZORIO

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.

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