Gender Inequality in the Workplace in South Africa

Gender Inequality in the Workplace in South Africa

Gender inequality in the workplace is ever-present and is still affecting a significant number of women in South Africa.

This, despite countless attempts and immeasurable effort made by women and human rights activists to bring balance between genders in the workplace.

Gender Inequality in the Workplace in South Africa

Many believe that gender inequality or discrimination does not exist as it often flies under the radar and is loosely disguised as “normal procedure”.

But the unfortunate truth is that women around the world are faced with many hurdles that hold them back from advancing in their careers. In some cases, women are even denied positions they are qualified for, simply based on their biological ability to give birth.

Are Men and Women Equal?

The question is not really if men and women are equal, but rather, do men view women as equal?

Unsurprisingly, men and women have conflicting views about their equality, where men don’t feel that there is much of a gap in equal treatment and opportunities between men and women.

The most likely reason for this is that men are not subjected to the same amount of discrimination in the workplace as women are.

To put this into perspective, almost 40% of South African women have said that their gender has negatively impacted them in the workplace. The same is true for only 17% of men.

Gender Pay Gap in South Africa

Sadly, women are still victims of unequal pay for work of equal value while 84% of working mothers have listed themselves as the primary caretakers of their children. On average, women are earning 28% less than their male counterparts.

To rub the proverbial salt into the wound, single mothers have the responsibility of raising their children with little help from the fathers. They do this while working, earning less and facing other forms of workplace discrimination, and there is not much legislation in place to mitigate this.

Perhaps this is why women are more likely to prioritise money over job fulfilment, while the opposite is true for men.

Gender Discrimination in the Workplace South Africa

Gender discrimination in the workplace shows up in various forms and is a result of unfair treatment on the basis of a person’s gender. The result of discrimination is inequality and we can gain a better understanding of this when we look at the work-parent relationship.

In South Africa, the following statistics are true for women having access to maternity leave:

  • 38% of women are given only 1-3 months maternity leave
  • 36% of women are given 3-6 months maternity leave
  • Only 18% of these women receive full pay during this period
  • 28% of these women receive less than half their pay
  • A shocking 39% of these women receive no pay at all during this period

In addition, almost half of working mothers rely solely on their 3 days annual family responsibility leave to look after their sick children and almost 20% take annual or sick leave for the same purpose.

What’s more shocking is that only 7% of these women said that their partner willingly steps in to help with a sick child.

This is evidence of how gender discrimination and inequality is systemic to its core.

How to we Bring Harmony to Inequality in the Workplace?

Gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace mostly affects women, but this is not only a woman’s war.

In order to completely dismantle unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace, organisations need to acknowledge that it exists before making the necessary changes to their policies, with immediate urgency and effect.

In addition, when male colleagues see unfair treatment taking place, they should feel the weight of their responsibility to speak up against such practices.

As the human rights activist Ginetta Sagan once said: “silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.”

Nazerit Wilson – Female Authors in South Africa

Women are subjected to layers upon layers of discrimination and inequality in almost every sphere of their lives, workplace included. When discrimination is systemic, it is hidden under the guise of “normal” or even worse, “acceptable”.

As women, our voices often go unheard, drowned out by the deafening sounds of patriarchy and male dominance. But the time has come to change the course of history and for women to step into their power once again by fighting the very system that oppresses us.

As a female author in South Africa who has experienced various forms of oppression and discrimination throughout my life, I feel compelled to write about these injustices, to bring awareness to a matter that is very dear to my heart.

Have you been subjected to unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace, simply based on your gender? Please contact me to tell me more, I would love to hear from you.

The History of Women’s Month in South Africa and Breaking Boundaries

The History of Women’s Month in South Africa and Breaking Boundaries

August is Women’s month in South Africa and during this time, we pay tribute to the courage, bravery and strength of women who took a stance against an unjust system.

On the 9th of August 1956, a group of 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against pass laws and the proposed extension of these laws to women in the country.

This protest remains one of the country’s most peaceful protests to date which played a pivotal role in the history of South Africa and the role of women in society’s struggle for freedom and equality.

The Link Between Women’s Day and Breaking Barriers

For centuries, women have been subjected to all kinds of oppression which has resulted in unrelenting inequality in almost every sphere of their lives.

Under the patriarchal reign, women have been treated as inferior and undeserving of basic human rights and opportunities, purely because of their gender.

Much of this oppression and inequality still exist today and have evolved to take on subtle forms that often go undetected and are sometimes even accepted as the norm, even by women.

However, one thing that is different in our modern construct is that women have found their collective voice and are standing together to dismantle patriarchal systems and standards, helping one another identify even the smallest crimes against women. And this is how we change the world.

A beautiful example of this took place on the 9th of August 1956 – when 20 000 women came together to unite against injustice.

Locked and loaded with determination, these women left every bit of fear behind as they marched to the Union Building, ready to change the course of history.

After placing 14 000 petitions against the proposed extension of pass laws to women in the country, these women stood peacefully, in deafening silence for 30 minutes.

To end the protest, the women sang a song that was written especially for the occasion. The song sent a powerful message which said “if you strike a woman, you strike a rock.” This message was heard loud and clear, and the idea that women are incapable of holding high positions in society and should stay at home became abnormal.

Gender Inequality in Today’s Climate

Although these women were victorious in their battle against pass laws, there is still much work to be done before gender inequality is entirely eradicated.

Easily one of the most pressing matters of today’s time is gender-based violence. Some have gone as far as to say that gender-based violence is South Africa’s true pandemic, yet it still does not receive the attention it deserves from the powers that be.

So, the people of South Africa have taken to the streets over and over again to bring much-needed awareness to the fact that femicide is rampant and requires immediate and stern action from the government.

These protests have been peaceful, and some have been loud and powerful, but the message has remained the same: “we have had enough.”

Men and women have come together to acknowledge GBV and to stand against it against all odds but, sadly, this does not protect our women.

Despite the fact that almost 180 000 crimes against women are reported to each year, the President has done very little to mitigate the dangers of being a woman in South Africa.

According to Women for Change SA, South Africa’s femicide rate is 5 times the global average and the shocking truth is that these account for the reported cases only; not all acts of gender-based violence are reported

Only 1 in every 9 rape cases are reported of which only 4% result in prosecution of the perpetrator. The life of one woman is taken from her every 3 hours in South Africa.

Is this as a result of a society that chooses to look the other way? Are we protecting perpetrators and stigmatizing survivors?

Hypermasculinity is a toxic disease that is killing the women of South Africa. This may be due to the country’s violent history and skewed assignment of gender roles.

NGO’s and NPO’s have taken the reigns and stepped up to the plate to bring awareness to GBV in South Africa and to provide a safe place for survivors. However, this is not enough.

Nazerit Wilson – South African Female Authors

As a South African female author, the plight of gender inequality holds a particularly important space in my heart, as I understand that female oppression is rife and exists in every institution.

From religion to the workplace and politics to the home environment, gender inequality still affects a large majority of women across the world.

So, I have dedicated my novel to the struggle women face and I tell a story of bravery and determination to break through barriers that hold women back from their truest potential.

If you would like to find out more about my debut novel, I would love to hear from you.


The Truth About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The Truth About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is more common than many people or organisations would like to admit.

However, as much as some would like to deny it, sexual harassment takes place in most workplaces and the unfortunate reality is that women are more commonly the victims.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is any kind of gesture or behaviour that is unwelcome, offensive, degrading or intimidating. This sort of harassment can be physical, verbal or in written form and can happen online or in person.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in South Africa

The only way to fully grasp the enormity of this particular issue is to take a look at the statistics, which shed true light on how prevalent sexual harassment is in our workplace.

A study conducted by research agency Columinate engaged with 1000 South Africans who are living and working in the urban environment in order to investigate sexual harassment statistics, specifically in the workplace.

Let’s just say that the findings were gut-wrenching.

To begin, 30% of women reported that they were at some stage on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, while 18% of men reported the same.

The harassment came in various forms:

  • 15% of those who experienced sexual harassment reported that it was verbal

  • 38% said that verbal harassment evolved into unwanted physical touching

  • 42% experienced indecent staring at body parts

  • 32% have received unwelcome messages of a sexual nature

The shocking truth is that both men and women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, but the fact remains that women are often harassed by men in superior positions within the workplace hierarchy.

Perhaps this is why a third of women who experience sexual harassment don’t report it as they believe that management won’t do anything about it.

In addition, women often avoid reporting sexual harassment because they have been intimidated by the perpetrators and told to keep quiet, or they are afraid of losing their jobs. This is a significant and relevant fear as women face many challenges to finding a job to begin with.

Gender Inequality in the Workplace in South Africa

This is once again an uncomfortable reminder that sexual harassment is an ever-present intruding force that still exists and is closely linked to misogyny, despite the awareness that has been brought to the matter.

Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

To throw fuel onto an already raging fire, workplace policies fundamentally lack sufficient protocol for dealing with sexual harassment sufficiently.

51% of workplaces in South Africa do not have a concise sexual harassment policy in place while only 37% of organisations have a clear process to follow in order to report sexual harassment.

What this points out is that sexual harassment is not taken as seriously as it should be by organisations or their managers.

What Does Sexual Harassment Look Like?

Unfortunately, sexual harassment comes in many forms and if it’s not overly blatant, it often goes unnoticed.

Therefore, it’s important to know what sexual harassment can look like in order to identify it quickly and deal with it appropriately:

  • Making any form of physical contact with you without your consent

  • Asking you for any form of sexual favours, including sexual intercourse

  • Staring at you and your body parts in an indecent manner

  • Insulting you with sexual comments

  • Making sexual comments or jokes to you or in your presence

  • Making sexual or suggestive body movements towards you

  • Indecent exposure of themselves to you

  • Making obscene phone calls to you

  • Sending unwelcome sexual messages or emails

  • Displaying offensive material for you to see

  • Making comments with a sexual connotation or undertone

How can it be Addressed?

The only way this issue can be properly addressed is for organisations to take it seriously. Victim shaming, gas lighting and inaction are the biggest allies to sexual harassment.

Protecting victims in both the public and private sector has become a matter of urgency, and this starts with education and training which should be made compulsory.

In addition, clear and comprehensive policies to deal with sexual harassment need to be implemented into every single organisation’s standard operating procedures.

These policies must ensure that every single case is dealt with effectively and without mercy so that sexual harassment in all its forms can be stopped.

Nazerit Wilson – Female Authors in South Africa

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a harrowing reality that exists in the lives of many employees in South Africa.

The only way that we can make a difference is to know the limitless boundaries of sexual harassment and its eternal consequences so we can use our voices against it.

Have you experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in the workplace? Please contact me so we can talk about the impact that it has had on you.


TAGS: Sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment, what is sexual harassment, sexual harassment examples, sexual harassment in the workplace South Africa, female authors in South Africa

The Life of a Female South African Author

The Life of a Female South African Author

I have been asked, as a woman from a strongly traditional background, how I balanced studying as well as being the main income earner and a mother.

This question is a tough one to answer because, what does my gender have to do with following my dreams?

Well, the answer is simple. I didn’t.

There was no balance. I could not cope with the demands of being a full-time wife and mother, so I gave up my dreams of studying and having a career. I dropped out of university twice.

I find that men are rarely asked the same question; “how do you balance your life of being a husband, a full-time employee, part-time student and a recreational golf player?”

Is this because people automatically know or assume that there is most likely a woman in the background taking care of everything else while the man sets off to reach for his dreams?

Another indication of how deeply rooted traditional gender roles are in our cultures and societies.

Traditional Gender Roles

My traditional role as a woman required me to place my husband’s needs before mine. I did not matter.

What did matter was the variety of curries I cooked for a meal, and the homemade atchaar that had to be on the table. The roti I spent hours making had to be perfectly round, soft, hot off the tava and took precedence over a new baby I wanted to breastfeed and a toddler to cuddle.

I would be in trouble if my food wasn’t on the table as he walked through the door. Making my husband three hot and fresh meals a day was more important than what I wanted to do and achieve.

The loneliness of being without my children at home, pushed me to re-ignite my high-school dream of writing that I had thrust aside for so long.

South African Novels

Gender roles and cultural norms have impacted the lives of women across the globe for centuries and, when it comes to gender equality, there is still a lot of work to be done.

From a young age, I was subjected to all kinds of oppression. Nothing I wanted or cared about mattered to anyone in my family.

Growing up in a strict environment, the only thing I could be was the helpful daughter and servant to my parents, living in silence against abuse.

Even as an adult woman, I was expected to be nothing more than the perfect wife and the perfect mother. Those were my only “duties”.

I had to continue putting my hopes and aspirations for a better life on hold for the sake of keeping my family together, even though the sense of happiness I tried to create was merely an illusion. There is nothing happy in a family where a woman is oppressed.

It’s for this reason that gender-based violence and violence against women and children have a special place in my heart; it is something I experienced throughout my life, both in childhood and as an adult.

This only changed once I decided to take my destiny into my own hands. I am now married to the man of my dreams, who is culturally neutral and adores me enough to make it possible for me to be an author.

My husband has taken over the responsibility of all the gender hurdles that took away the time I needed to achieve my goals so I can finally shine the way I was meant to.

He cooks our meals and packs me a work lunch. He washes the laundry and packs it in my cupboard, so that I can start my day with a clean uniform for work every day. He sweeps and mops our home, giving me more time to write after a long day at work.

He encourages me to exercise to clear my head so I can use the adrenaline rush to get my creativity flowing when I am in a slump.

Gender-Based Violence

As women, we are presented with tiny little boxes that we are expected to fit into comfortably and without question; be a mom, be career oriented, don’t be tired, make sure all the chores are taken care of, look after your husband but also make sure you look after yourself – and the list goes on.

These issues are the driving force behind my proverbial pen and ink – therefore I have given my life over to writing. Words are powerful tools, swords that we can wield to win the age-old battle against unjust patriarchal standards.

It may be uncomfortable to read about the unfortunate realities surrounding gender inequality, femicide and other forms of gender-based violence, but keeping quiet about these issues is complicity – something I have no space for in my life. I have been silent for too long. It is time for my voice to be heard.

South African Female Writers

Writing and working a full-time job can be tough sometimes.

How do I do it? I leave all societies expectations behind me and I walk this path with absolute integrity, uninfluenced by what I “should” be and motivated by what I want to be.

Ultimately, this is how we can dismantle all these outdated belief systems that govern the way we perceive ourselves and our positions in society. We can take back our sovereignty by speaking out and overcoming these man-made (pun intended) hurdles with absolute grace, in our stride.

In addition to this, we can find a partner who also does not subscribe to institutions that catalyse the idea of gender roles in society. A partner who is ready to fight the fight with you.

I can truly say that I am blessed enough to have a warrior by my side, a man who carries the weight of the household on his shoulders so that I can write.

I know that together, we are an unstoppable force.

Nazerit Wilson – South African Author

As a female author, I am ready to step into my power as a fierce, feminine force. A soul on fire, a burning desire to summit the highest tip of my wildest dream – to show the world that previous marriage that restricted me, and the expectations of society no longer hold me back.

Why? I cast them aside because they didn’t contribute to my growth, happiness and independence.

It’s on this note that I would like to mention that there is something extremely exciting in the pipelines that I will be revealing soon, so watch this space!

Lastly, if you would like to chat about what motivates you, what challenges you have faced as you work towards your dreams, or anything in between, please reach out to me. I would love to hear from you.

Signed, Nazerit.

TAGS: South African authors, South African female writers, South African novels, books online South Africa, writing a novel, South African Author, gender based violence, traditional gender roles

Blooming of A Broken Flower and How it Came to Be

Blooming of A Broken Flower and How it Came to Be

Who would have thought that at the end of a turbulent year, I would complete and publish my first novel independently? I did! 

Yes, 2020 was tough to say the absolute least, but I had a vision, a goal, a dream and I vowed to turn them into reality, come hell or high water.

I have always appreciated a challenge and seen it as an opportunity for growth and, since I wrote the very first word for this novel, my how I have grown!

The Making of Blooming of a Broken Flower

As a regular person with a regular job, I had to squeeze writing into every spare moment I could find. Before work. After work. Notes on my phone. A pen and notepad on my bedside table.

I would wake up in the dead of the night with intense thoughts, inspired dialogue and brilliant settings.

Turning on the bedside lamp and, with groggy eyes, I would scribble down my thoughts so I wouldn’t forget them. Then I’d toss and turn, my mind running marathons around ideas, edits and sometimes questions of self-doubt.

But I did it. I wrote and wrote until one day I opened my laptop and there was nothing left to write. My book was complete. Well, apart from the editing which was a gruelling phase of rearranging the story, adding things I had missed and scrapping things that stood in the way of my plot. But I did that too – with many fallen tears and moments of frustration.

I am a planner at heart. I plan everything and so, during the early stages of my writing journey I decided to start building an online presence as I knew that I would publish my book independently. I found an amazing digital marketing team who made sure the digital side of Nazerit Wilson was taken care of, allowing me to continue writing.

Then, after months of searching, I found a publisher who was perfect for me, who helped me navigate the world of publishing my book digitally and as hard copies as an indie author.

I also decided that I wanted to do a video trailer in which I would introduce myself and my book to the world. As an energetic individual who loves to use movement as an expression, sitting still in front of a camera was uncharted territory for me, but, you guessed it – I did it!

After this, everything began to move quickly.

The typesetting was done.

The eBook conversion was underway.

Publisher on standby for a mock-up of my book.

My publisher listing my book on Amazon.

My marketing team working hard for the last 9 months on all sorts of things I simply do not understand.

I could hardly catch my breath.

And, while this was all taking place, I was still working full-time. Long, gruelling hours in a position that requires me to pay absolute attention to the smallest detail. I was exhausted. Often too exhausted to write. But, my dear husband was always there to offer a gentle push, reminding me why I do what I do.

Despite the high levels of stress, anxiety, and occasional uncertainty, I was able to push through the sleepless nights, riding on the waves of fulfilment with each piece of brilliant writing I was able to complete. Each completed piece brought me closer to my goal.

Then, one day while I was at work, I received the link from my husband – and there it was – my novel, listed on Amazon. And here I stand today, my first novel published.

Nazerit Wilson – South African Female Author Against Gender-Based Violence

Blooming of a Broken Flower is a heroic story of a young girl who fights for love and acceptance in an unjust world. Where patriarchy ruled and violence against women and children was the norm.

This novel tells the story of so many lives lived in oppression and silence. It’s a story of hope, love and victory.

It is my hope that this story will lead many young girls on a journey towards sovereignty and freedom, as they realise that it is possible to re-write their stories.

If you would like to purchase my eBook, please click here, or contact me to find out more about ordering a hard copy.

I would like to extend a special thank you to the following companies and individuals, without you by my side, none of this would be possible:

  • Romaen at Ren Photos: Photographer
  • Romy Sommer: Author and Editor
  • Kathy Bosman: Author and Editor
  • Myebook:
  • Colin Mann: Video Production Team
  • Print It Za:

TAGS: South African authors and their books, female authors, South African novelists, South African novels, South African authors female, gender-based violence South Africa, examples of gender-based violence