Business / Business News

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
24 Aug 2021
2:45 pm

Black women, you’re on your own: Men preferred for jobs, promotions

Citizen Reporter

Stats SA's latest report shows how gender discrimination in the workforce remains a major problem.

Photo: iStock

Gender discrimination is alive and well. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Tuesday released its Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2021, showing that the South African employment market “is more favourable to men than it is to women”.

SA’s unemployment rate

Women still excluded from the workforce

The unemployment rate during the first quarter was the highest since 2008 – a whopping 32.6%, but it only escalated from there.

The survey showed women in South Africa – especially Black women – still faced “additional challenges that hinder them from accessing employment”.

“Once they are in employment, appointments to decision-making positions and jobs in certain sectors, or of certain characteristics, remain elusive”, the statement added.

How men are favoured

Joblessness among black African women are 4.2 percentage points higher than the national average, with an unemployment rate of 41% (compared to 38.3% during the first quarter).

  • Men are more likely to be in paid employment than women while women are more likely than men to be doing unpaid work.
  • The proportion of men in employment is higher than that of women
  • The unemployment rate among men is lower than amongst women.
  • The rate of unemployment among women was 36.8% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 32.4% amongst men according to the official definition of unemployment.
  • According to the expanded definition, the rate of unemployment among women, at 48.7%, was 8.1 percentage points higher than among their male counterparts in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Of those in managerial positions, 66.9% were men compared to 33.1% of women.
  • Women dominated the domestic worker, clerical and technical occupations while the rest of the occupations were dominated by men.
  • Only 5.5% of domestic worker jobs were occupied by men while only 11.9% of craft and related trade jobs were occupied by women.

This is in stark contrast to white South Africans, where an unemployment rate of 8.9% was reported among men and a rate of 8.2% among women. As per the report:

Gender discrimination holds SA back

While South Africa has made progress in terms of gender equality, a lot still needs to be done as women are often still marginalised and excluded from decision-making processes.

“In South Africa, gender discrimination remains a major problem in various settings – be it social or economic – including the workplace, the family and educational institutions.”

Stats SA says gender equality is crucial for the country’s economic growth and sustainable development. Moreover, “promoting policies that encourage entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this”.

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