Insights from female breadwinners in South Africa

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In South Africa, about 6 million households have women as the breadwinners – about 38% of all homes. Many of these women don’t choose to be the primary financial provider but are forced into it by circumstances. And they are over-represented in the poorest paying and most unregulated sectors of the economy, such as service industries, domestic work and informal work. They also earn less than their male counterparts.

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In today’s episode of Pasha, Bianca Parry, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Africa, discusses her exploratory study of women breadwinners, which she undertook from a psychological perspective.

She found that they felt fulfilled by their role, although it came with sacrifices and struggles. The women tended to take on a double burden of work and family responsibilities, as most were single. This meant ignoring their own needs. But society should not similarly neglect the evolution of gender roles.

Read more: What South African women told us about being the main breadwinner


“At work sewing” by Africanstar found on Shutterstock

Music: “Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

“Charcoal” by Chad Crouch, found on Free Music Archive licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Authors: Ozayr Patel – Digital Editor | Bianca Parry – Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of South Africa


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