Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Although there has been a steady increase in the number of women in the working-age population, men continue to participate in the labour market in greater numbers.

This is according to a gender series report released by Stats SA, tracking trends and patterns of economic empowerment in areas related to gender.

The report showed that levels of employment increased by 3.7-million from 2001 to 2017. However, the number of employed men increased by about 2.3-million, versus 1.3-million women.

As a result of the persisting unemployment levels among women, the households headed by them were found to be the most likely to depend on social grants. The number of recipients of child-support grants rose from 9-million to 13-million from 2009 to 2017.

The highest levels of employment for women were among those 35 to 44 years old. Urban women were most likely to be in employment, with 35-to 44-year-olds having the highest participation at 80.2%.

There was a near equal number of men and women who owned bank accounts and investment savings in 2016 and 2017. Women dominated the informal savings space through stokvels at 65.1%.

The report noted an increase in the number of female-headed households that owned formal dwellings from 2002 to 2017. This improvement was observed in the Northern Cape, the Western Cape, Gauteng and the Free State. This was partly due to increases in the provision of housing subsidies by the government, the report said.