Women still unequal to men in SA

2012-09-26 10:10

Johannesburg - South African women still do not enjoy equality with men, although the situation is slowly improving, a study reported on Wednesday.

The study, compiled by Mastercard, found that the overall index score for the socio-economic equality of women in 2012 was 74.7, a small improvement from the 74.4 reported in 2011.

"While there are still significant inequalities between men and women, it is encouraging to see that the overall index score has improved year-on-year since 2010, signifying increasing socio-economic equality between men and women," Mastercard Worldwide president Philip Panaino said in a statement.

The scores are based on a 100-point scale, with a figure closer to 100 indicating more gender parity to men.

Workplace participation of women in the formal economy was also lower than that of men. Only about three-quarters of women were involved in the formal economy when compared to men.

However, more women than men were able to find a way to earn an income, through casual work, self-employment or business.

The study found that the number of women leaders was far behind that of men with only 56 women in decision-making positions in government or companies for every 100 men.

While women made up 52% of the country's population, they held only 3.6% of CEO positions, 5.5% of chairmanships, and made up just 21.4% of executives.

The study found that more South African women than men were enrolled in a tertiary organisation.

In the case of the University of SA, about 60% of the student body were women.

Mastercard cited economist Dr Roelof Botha as saying that South Africa was fifth best in the region when it came to gender equality.

Only Rwanda, Burundi, Namibia and Mauritius performed better.

He said the South African government's support for gender equality was an important factor in reaching parity, including the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill.

"It is encouraging to see the formal steps taken by the South African government to reduce gender inequality in the country," Botha said.

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  • Jeremy - 2012-09-26 10:37

    I get so tired of studies and stories about equality, whether it's gender or race. Most kids these days - in metro areas at least and preferably not in Polokwane or the Eastern Cape - have a reasonable chance of a decent education - but after that it's every man and woman for him/herself! The cream will always rise to the surface, whether that cream is black or white, male or female. And if the majority of management positions are held by white males, or black males - or whatever - it's probably because they've worked harder, are better qualified and, yes, I'm afraid so, speak better English! Those are the facts of life - and it's about time everyone gets used to them!

      Jeremy - 2012-09-26 11:12

      The other thing, of course, is that women have babies. Men don't. So men tend to climb the promotion ladder quicker than women because they don't have to take off months of maternity leave.

  • gerald.king.589 - 2012-09-26 10:43

    We have ALWAYS been 50/50 equal value to the world (just not congruent and nveer will be) and theres nothing wrong. They themselves bash a woman's value in society by looking down n turning against it. Well we need it like bigtime. By nature they're hardwired to be caring hence risk averse. Men just want to hunt, the bigger the beast($$) the more we want to go for it. That balance wasnt created by bad omens, just how it works. Hard truth.

      mattewis.kat - 2012-09-26 11:32

      I so agree with yourself and Jeremy! This equality-bs is getting SO TIRED it isn't real! Testosterone is the principal male hormone, and it drives certain behavior, and estrogen vice-versa in females with different behavioral aspects. As human beings we are equal in value, but so what! No matter how Hollywood promotes the twig-armed petite female macho superheroes fallacy, reality paints a vastly different picture. Why doesn't this very same CEO ratio get applied to real soldiers (as in foreign league, etc.)? This modern asexual illusion has the European civilization well on the way to extinction. When Dad went to work and Mom looked after the kids, you had a 1000% better society and there weren't any children charged up on anti-depressants going on shooting sprees in high schools! If my wife earned the money, I would also gladly be the stay at home dad taking on "the looking after the kids role", so those who call me a chauvinist, are all feminists!

  • Clayton Richard Delport - 2012-09-26 10:58

    Always looking to divide people with "statistics" listen most woman prefer being a mom, most woman prefer a man looking after her, what is wrong with this? If you want to be a "CEO" then be one, time for all this nonsense to stop

      Simphiwe Spijo Nxumalo - 2012-09-26 11:11

      thank u Clayton

  • Simphiwe Spijo Nxumalo - 2012-09-26 11:09

    well some women still prefer to be luked after by their men and some jobs are just not suitable for women regardless of their educational status...

      LanfearM - 2012-09-26 13:21

      What jobs? But I agree that there are still a lot of women who don't want a career and would rather stay at home. Nothing wrong with that, it is what our mothers fougth for after all, freedom of choice.

  • marli.eisern - 2012-09-26 11:14

    The struggle goes on. It started with Adam and (St)Eve, then battle for equal sexual rights, feminism, political rights, Children rights, Animal Rights, Khoi San Rights, Fracking Rights, Equal Pay Rights, Protesting Rights, Secrecy Rights, Apostasy Rights, CEO Rights, Hospital Performance Rights, Sleeping on the job Rights, Trade Union Rights, Criticism Rights, Ethis Rights, Moral Rights, The Right to be Wrong, The Right not to Perform (just don't let your partner find out that you can not perform at home or in the Hotel...). Eh finally we can conclude that South Africa needs its Golda Meir, Tansu Chiller,Indira Ghandi, Maggy Thatcher, Benasir Butto, Angela Merkel, Michelle Bachelet. Where are the strong women of South Africa? There is much more intelligence and talent amongst them I would say. Why does SA not have a female President or is it a typical macho thing? The time has come to go from Black to PINK. The time has come for change.....

  • Desilusionada - 2012-09-26 11:16

    Right and MASTERCARD needed this study to arrange credit (and card facilities) for the rural females sitting at home in front of a shack earning R 100.00 p.m. sent back from their husbands working in the mines? OK so what about gender equality law with regards to having babies? Men should demand that right... Oh wait the male of the species cannot have babies. But the physical impossibility of certain things in South Africa apparently escapes some. Every time this subject is brought up, the total population male/female demographics are quoted. Sheer lazy thinking. Are these numbers adjusted for the fact certain jobs are such that woman prefer not to do them? Females live longer than males. So why mix total population with economically active (and the ability to be active), statistics? How many woman in SA wants to work full time? The greatest (or near to), impact of HIV and Aids in the world has been seen in South Africa. How many woman prefer to look after family, sacrificing their career or future prospects? A law and noise about a matter is made to satisfy the egos (and protect) the careers of government officials, instead of addressing and spending money on the real matters. The gender equality law is just another law, and does not mean anything until it contributes to society. Education, Job creation, Getting away from the largest-welfare-state-in-the-world-situation, Moral regeneration and setting an example of presidential non-chauvinism springs to mind....

  • bill.billy.1069020 - 2012-09-26 11:20

    Let's not forget the Glass Cellar situation, where men by far make up the majority of people in the worst-paid, minimum security, low-end jobs, as well as the so-called Death Jobs - military, cops, firefighters, roofers, lumberjacks, construction workers, coal miners etc etc, where 93% of people killed on the job are men, according to an American study anyway. So, while men certainly occupy the Glass Ceiling, if we really want society to be level, women must start occupying the other end of the job market.

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2012-09-26 11:24

    If you look at women employed from Gov down to the municipality's lowest level in the state.. Was it a step backward.. They did nowhere any good accept stags papers of queries and claims. Which big company can brag that they was taken forward with a woman in the lead.. and compare the statistics of that company..mostly they do more and more of. Bureaucratic paperwork to try to excuse them self from their own responsibilities...that land in the end in the trash bin.

  • Mandla - 2012-09-26 11:41

    if we are equal dey must create their own space not alwayz crying .

  • Eduannn - 2012-09-26 11:50

    I see minister Xingwana is busy with a new law to ENFORCE 50/50 male/female representation in all spheres of life including business. My question is this (and I use an example): Steve Jobs builds up a company called Apple from nothing and makes it the biggest in the world in twenty years - at what stage would such a law propose that a woman now becomes the CEO of the company? When it is still new and small or only when it becomes successful and listed as the best/biggest? We may as well then also create a law that says that CEO's of companies are split 50/50 below/above the age of 30 - why not? Where do you draw the line? Absolute hogwash in my opinion. STOP SOCIAL ENGINEERING!

  • phumi.motsamai - 2012-09-26 13:03

    Most women are too busy working to even answer for themselves.

      mike.dufham.7 - 2012-09-26 16:42


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