Persistence in gender equity: It’s time to tackle it
Although the gender gap in labour market participation has narrowed, gender differences in everyday experiences persist in developing countries. In this article we reviewed measures that have been put in place in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and efforts taken by the Member States to address the issue. We also explored progress and challenges with regard to transformation, defined as intentional and
planned changes aimed at addressing historical disadvantages. The article is based on secondary data collected through review of studies, reports, policy documents and surveys from various data sets from national, regional and international organisations in the health and higher education sectors. There is no doubt that South Africa has made some notable progress towards women empowerment. Despite these improvements notwithstanding the fact that South Africa has put in place legislation and other measures to outlaw gender inequality, practices continue unabated due to persistence of cultural attitudes, lack of capacity, resources and commitment among the implementers. The study therefore concludes that there is still much more investment required in programs that empower women and girls to improve their status and opportunities.
Keywords: equality, equity, women empowerment, entrenched patriarchal attitudes, barriers