Are SA women better off than Brits, or Americans?

2014-10-31 15:23
Reeva Steenkamp (File: AP)

Reeva Steenkamp (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Within days of the world slamming South Africa’s macho culture for the death of Reeva Steenkamp, a new global scale of gender equality claims women in South Africa are better off than those in the US, the UK and Australia.

South Africa has been ranked 18 for gender equality out of 142 countries analysed by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

South Africa has replaced the UK at number 18, with the British slipping eight places since last year, to number 26. The shocking slide has prompted the UK to question why life is getting tougher for women, calling on the government to act.

Both the UK and the US - two of the most advanced economies in the world - fall behind South


Despite climbing three spaces on the Global Gender Gap Report to 20, the US trails behind us in the equality stakes - as does Canada (ranked 19), Australia (ranked 24), Mozambique (27),

Spain (29), and Kenya (37).

The WEF put us above all other African nations, except Rwanda and Burundi, ranked seventh and 17th respectively.

No equality until 2095

The report, which analyses education, health, political empowerment and economic participation, sees Nordic nations dominate the rankings - with Iceland claiming the top spot, followed by Finland and Norway in third place.

However, not one country surveyed has closed the gender gap to achieve total equality for women. The highest score achieved was Iceland’s 0.85 (with 1 being total equality).

South Africa scored 0.75 overall, with further analysis showing that while we scored very highly in both education and health equality (0.98), opportunities suffer in political empowerment and economic participation, with scores of 0.39 and 0.65 respectively.

Assessing the global average, the WEF said it does not expect the world to achieve gender equality for a further 81 years - until 2095.

Pistorius sparks protest

The report follows outrage over South Africa’s gender equality and high rate of domestic violence in the wake of the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius for Steenkamp’s murder.

Pistorius’s sentence of five years was criticised by many for being too short, with calls for tougher sentencing for perpetrators of domestic violence.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK said the trial “put a spotlight on the pervasive male violence that has survived apartheid, with women all too often the collateral damage”.

Though the WEF’s report has rated South Africa highly on an economic scale, it does not cover gender-based violence.

According to the Medical Research Council, one in four women in South Africa is in abusive relationship.

Gender-based violence is one of the most expensive health problems in the world, and according to KPMG its impact cost South Africa up to R42.4bn last year.

Proving that total gender equality is indeed a long way off, in South Africa more than a thousand women are killed by their partners every year and more than one million rapes take place.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  human rights  |  pistorius trial

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.