The “What Worries the World” study published last week (What is worrying the world’s citizens mid-2021?), showed that education is a major worry, ranking at 7th place on the list. Education was selected as one of the top three major worries by 17% of citizens of the 28 countries in which the study was conducted, with online South Africans only marginally under the world average at 13%.
The “Pulse of the People” study undertaken by Ipsos in 2020 showed that 42% of the total South African adult population believed that all South Africans enjoy equal Human Rights. Although one can argue that this figure should be much higher in a country priding itself on the maintenance of the rule of law, it is perhaps not a bad starting point to build on to grow acceptance of equality of all citizens in a strategic and deliberate way.
One area where this opinion does come through is on the terrain of education: In the mid-2016 Pulse of the People study almost one in every five South African adults believed that “A boy has more rights to education than a girl”. Now – five years later, that figure has changed quite a bit, although men still agree more with this statement than women do. Growing proportions of both men and women disagree with this discrimination at a fundamental level.
Looking at the levels of education achieved in the country, it is clear that – certainly in terms of higher education – women are holding their own. Even though there are more male than female students in the country (13.2% males vs 11.2% females in South Africa are students), more women than men complete their degrees and graduate from Technikons or Universities. It is however still surprising, considering the level of education that women complete, that women bear a much larger unemployment burden than men do (Women, unemployment and grants).
- Ipsos’ What Worries the World survey is conducted in 28 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. 20,502 interviews were conducted between June 25th and July 9th, 2021 among adults aged 18-74 in the US, South Africa, Turkey, Israel and Canada and age 16-74 in all other countries. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. In 16 of the 28 countries surveyed internet penetration is sufficiently high to think of the samples as representative of the wider population within the age ranges covered: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain and United States. The remaining 11 countries surveyed: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey have lower levels of internet penetration and so these samples should instead be considered to represent a more affluent, connected population. These are still a vital social group to understand in these countries, representing an important and emerging middle class. The Global score reflects the “Global Country Average”: the average result for all the countries where the survey was conducted. It has not been adjusted to the population size of each country and is not intended to suggest a total result.
- Ipsos Pulse of the People survey was conducted between July – September 2020 with 3,758 in-home face-to-face (CAPI) and telephonic (CATI) interviews. Conducted in preferred home languages of randomly selected respondents and is countrywide represented. Results filtered by those 18 years old and older. Results weighted and projected to the official South African population figures for this universe. Margin of error for this sample as a whole is a maximum of 0.65 – influenced by sample size, response rate and sampling methodology employed