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On the eve of International Women’s Day 2022, a disappointing gender pay gap persists in South Africa and elsewhere.
South Africa has countless female-headed households with women working hard to make ends meet and ensure a better life for their children. The gender pay gap stands in the way of many who struggle to realise their dreams for their offspring. The gender pay gap represents a real stumbling block in the way of a more successful country.
- While South Africa has various pieces of legislation aimed at preventing gender discrimination in the workplace, we have a stagnant median gender pay gap of between 23% and 35%.
- Although the Equal Remuneration Convention (no. 100) was adopted in 1951, shockingly the gender pay gap remains at an average of 20% worldwide according to the ILO.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the projected time to close the pay gap from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.
These numbers show that while women have come a long way in establishing equality in society and work environments, there is still a long road ahead. Therefore, and to commemorate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2022, UASA joins the call by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women under the theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
Labour organisations in solidarity with women have fought for equality in society and the workplace for years. UASA encourages trade unions to follow suit by advocating for the end of gender pay gaps in solidarity with the Equal Remuneration Convention (no. 100) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) which.
UASA urges trade unions to be the voice of all women who are not compensated fairly for equal work and to eliminate the factors contributing to the gender pay gap, which include:
- Job segregation
- Gender stereotypes and social norms that limit women’s access to labour markets and quality jobs
- Undervaluation of women’s work
- Gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work
- Uneven distribution of care responsibilities and unpaid work
Issued by UASA spokesperson Abigail Moyo