by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African women are scoring higher than their global counterparts on defying impediments that hinder them from reaching their full potential financially and at work.
New research from beauty brand, Avon, reveals that in a research report released on the eve of the global commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8.
The global research indicated that lack of flexible working opportunities (48 percent), earned income (46 percent) and the ability to start their own business (29 percent) are among the biggest inequalities that women believe they face.
The global consumer research has been conducted in Avon’s key markets to understand women’s lived experiences when it comes to choice and freedom, highlighting where there are still disparities and where we need to make progress.
The research has been conducted across 7 000 women in seven markets – United Kingdom, Poland, Romania, Italy, South Africa, Turkey, and the Philippines. The sample size for each market is 1 000 women.
The research was also supported by The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) report on Gender Equality, which provides data and league tables on how different countries are addressing progress for women, including economic participation, education, health, and political achievement.
According to the WEF, female entrepreneurship is growing around the world, with between eight and 10 million small and medium-sized enterprises across the developing world having at least one female owner.
Despite this, men still outnumber women three to one when it comes to business ownership.
Some 82 percent of South African women sampled believe that the escalating cost of living has negatively impacted their finances compared to 76 percent of other participants in the research.
South African women scored higher on other metrics. About 91 percent of South African women that participated in the survey believed that stereotypes biased in favour of men are a barrier to equal opportunities compared to
86 percent, while 39 percent of South African women believed that access to setting up a business favours men, compared to 35 percent of their global counterparts.
The survey found that 88 percent of South African women also indicated that they would like to earn more money compared to 77 percent average of other women sampled in the survey.
“The findings of this research vindicate some of the interventions that Avon has put in place to advance women empowerment,” said Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director: Avon Justine Turkey, Middle East and Africa.
“As an organisation for women, we have unashamedly advocated for the removal of barriers that hamper women from reaching their full potential.”
Angela Cretu, Chief Executive Officer of Avon, concurred.
“Study after study has shown us that when women are empowered and engaged, all of society benefits – a better world for women is a better world for all,” she said.
Cretu said while some countries are taking positive steps forward, many women are still experiencing barriers when it comes to freedom of choice, work, and the opportunity to earn.
“We want to change that,” she said.
– CAJ News