Women’s Month: 4 shocking truths about gender equality in SA

Written by Caxton Central

Women make up the majority of the population in South Africa at 51% and one would think this would play a major role in ensuring the safety and equality of women but this is still not the case. South Africa has definitely progressed — according to World Economic Forum, SA is ranked the 17th out of 136 countries in terms of gender equality. Why then is violence against women still so prevalent and the gender pay gap so large? Here are some revealing insights:

1. Almost as many South African women as men believe it is acceptable to hit a woman

There’s a perception that gender inequality is only perpetuated by men but the recent “Crime against women in South Africa” report released by Statistics South Africa in June 2018 proved otherwise. The report published results of a survey where 3.3% of men and 2.3% of women believed it is acceptable for a man to hit a woman. The report found: “The highest percentage of individuals thought it was acceptable for a man to hit a woman if she argues with him‚ and the lowest percentage of individuals thought it was acceptable for a man to hit a woman if she burns food.”

2. The murder rate of women increased by 117% between 2015 and 2016/17

According to the Stats SA report, the number of women who were murdered in the past year increased by 117%. This is despite the fact that the murder rates of men and women declined between 2000 and 2015. The highest number of murders of women were at the hands of their intimate partners.

3. Sexual offenses against women have more than doubled in one year

Women who experienced sexual offenses jumped from 31 665 in 2015/16 to 70 813 in 2016/17, an increase of 53%. The 2016/17 “Victims of Crime” report revealed that 250 in 100 000 women were victims of sexual offenses compared to 120 in 100 000 men. “These are drastic increases in less than 24 months,” said the report.

4. South Africa has the sixth largest pay gap between men and women in Africa

Most countries in the world have failed to decrease the pay gap between men and women and SA is no different. According to a report by the World Economic Forum South Africa, men make on average $558 (R6‚607.25) more than women per month. It is estimated that the current economic gap between men and women won’t close for a projected 217 years. Liberia has almost no gap in pay between men and women. Code for Africa has an online tool where users can explore the gender pay gap between men and women in Africa.

Originally published at albertonrecord.co.za on August 10, 2018.