A new global study carried out in 28 countries by Ipsos, in collaboration with the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London for International Women’s Day (8 March 2021) shows that:
- People believe the gender pay gap is real and important, but are divided over whether it should be a top priority right now;
- More flexible working practices and support for women and girls facing violence and abuse are key to ensuring the recovery from Covid-19 addresses issues facing women.
This is the first press release highlighting results from South Africa and some other countries and focuses on GBV (Gender-Based Violence), the fear of losing a job and equality issues. During the rest of the week, more information will be published:
- Gender and work;
- Gender pay gap perceptions;
- The impact of Covid-19 and recovery from Covid-19;
- What is important in a leader.
GBV a very important issue in SA
Online respondents in 28 countries were asked to list the four or five most important issues facing women that will be necessary to be addressed after the Covid-19 pandemic. After months of working from home, four out of every ten men and women in the surveyed countries agree that “flexible working practices and continued work from home” will be the most important issue deserving attention. This issue is more important for women than for men.
Also, more important for women than for men is the need for more support for women and girls who face violence or abuse. Although this is an issue getting attention in many countries, respondents in Turkey (56%), South Africa (52%) and Peru (51%) are much more likely than others to prioritise support for women and girls who face violence or abuse than the global country average. In contrast, this is seen as less of a priority in Russia (24%), the Netherlands (23%) and Italy (21%).
For online South Africans it is the top priority to address the matter of Gender-Based Violence to ensure that issues facing women are considered when plans are made for the recovery from the pandemic. Other issues were also mentioned by substantial proportions of South Africans and it is no surprise that the pervasive and growing unemployment in the country is also seen as an important issue to address – both men and women concur.
Fear of losing a job
In spite of all the job losses in 2020, it seems as if we have not yet seen the end of the carnage and more than six in every ten online South Africans still say that they are now (in 2021) more likely to lose their job as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. South Africa has the highest proportion (63%) of people worrying about the sustainability of their jobs among the surveyed countries, followed by other developing nations such as Mexico, Peru and Chile. However, job security is a worldwide worry and only in Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel do less than 30% worry about the permanence of their current jobs.
In South Africa, women are more worried about keeping their jobs – 69% against 58% of men – possibly due to the much-discussed issue that disproportionately more women than men lost their jobs in 2020, as a result of the effect of the pandemic on economic certainty and the stability and / or growth of businesses.
Equality is still elusive
More than half (52%) of citizens in the 28 countries surveyed, think that gender equality will revert to what it was before the pandemic. Almost a fifth in Turkey, Germany, Poland and Spain think that men and women will become less equal. In South Africa 9% expect less equality, and 14% more equality, but like the rest of the world, 55% think that things will remain just the same as before. In Saudi Arabia big changes are expected and almost four in every ten (38%) say that a new era of more gender equality is on the way.
- These are the results of a 28-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 20,520 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 21 other markets between 22 January and 5 February 2021.
- The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the U.S., and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Hungary, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.
- The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. can be taken as representative of their general adult population under the age of 75.
- The samples in Brazil, Chile, mainland China, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.
- The data is weighted so that each country’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the covered adult population according to the most recent census data.
- Where results do not sum to 100 or the difference appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don't know” or not stated responses.
- The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on Ipsos' use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website. The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Director and Political Analyst
Service Line Manager: Public Affairs