March to close gender pay divide

Women of South Africa spokesperson, Kgadi Kedijang.

On average, South African women are paid 28% less compared to men for the same job. This is according to Women of South Africa (WoSA) spokesperson, Kgadi Kedijang, as they gear up to march to the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) on Friday.

Bloemfontein will be one of the cities around the country where WoSA will hold a strike against the gender pay gap. The organisation calls on people to join them when they march from 10:00 to 14:00 on 4 December 2020 as they demand equal pay for women.

Kedijang expressed that in the Free State, particularly young women are doubly affected by high unemployment rate and unequal pay, which create even more barriers to their economic participation.

“Young black women are affected on all levels, despite the fact that they are proven active participants in our democracy. However, the system continues to reject them. When they do find jobs they are then penalised for their potential to have children as they are seen as unreliable in the workplace,” she said.

Kedijang explained that the unequal pay of women has a hard impact everywhere and puts them at a disadvantage in the long run. “Research shows that making about 28% less in the long term would mean that in order to earn the same as a man by the age of 60, an average women would have to work an extra 10 years,” she said.

“It’s crazy that even in this day and age we still don’t have women being paid the same as men for the same work. Employers also get the same amount of value from both sexes. It’s just total discrimination based on gender,” added Kedijang.

Through these marches the movement seeks to make it clear to the government and the private sector that decisive action is needed to ensure that more women are involved in economic participation, this according to the spokesperson.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele