South Africa celebrates women twice a year – first in March, according to the United Nation’s calendar, then locally in August. However, between both celebrations, women are constantly losing economic ground when compared to their male counterparts.
According to Stats SA’s recent Quarterly Labour Survey, youth unemployment as risen to 32.5%. The survey noted that while women were less employed across all races, Black Women represented 38.5% of SA’s unemployed population.
In 2020, NIDS-CRAM survey showed that net job losses between February and April were higher for women than for men. Women accounted for two-thirds of the total net job losses. Women are more likely than men to live in households that reported running out of money for food in April 2020. And a retrospective look shows that between 2016 and 2020, women’s unemployment averaged 34.3% against 31% for men.
With this widening gap, it is clear that current employment initiatives do not take into account the unique conditions of women in South Africa, and therefore demands a change in approach through efforts that focuses on challenges specific to women in general and young women in particular.
Listen to the conversation on Kaya Biz with Gugulethu Mfuphi and Independent Economist Ntombana Mbele:
Disclaimer: Feature image was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.