What does the pay gap between men and women really look like in Africa?
In many countries‚ men are paid – on average and across all sectors – more generously than women.
South Africa is no exception when it comes to an analysis of pay across the continent. Code for Africa has built an online tool that allows users to explore the gender pay gap between men and women in Africa. You can explore the tool here.
The tool uses data contained in the Global Gender Gap report for 2017‚ compiled by the World Economic Forum‚ which captures the magnitude of gender-based disparities in 144 countries.
Specifically‚ the report looks at the differences between men and women in four key areas: health‚ economics‚ politics and education.
The tool uses “estimated earned income data” from the report and is not designed to give breakdowns for each industry. Instead it captures the average gender gap.
It reveals that in South Africa men make on average $558 (R6‚607.25) more than women per month – the sixth-largest pay gap in Africa. Algeria was recorded as the most uneven country when it comes to pay‚ while Liberia was found to have almost no difference in pay.
“Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth‚ competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide‚” the report said.
The World Economic Forum said in reaction to the 2017 report’s findings on pay: “It is not as simple as saying that men and women who are doing the same job are paid differently (although that is part of the story too).
“It is also because women are more likely to work in industries with lower average pay‚ rather than high-income areas such as finance or technology which are traditionally dominated by men.
“They are more likely to undertake part-time work‚ due to commitments to care for either children‚ elderly parents‚ or both.
“With inequality permeating so much of the fabric of society – especially when it comes to caring for children – it is perhaps not surprising that the current economic gap between men and women won’t close for an estimated 217 years.”