Addressing Gender Bias Issues Impacting South Africa’s Female Consumers

Women’s Month provides the opportunity to highlight issues impacting South African women.


Despite the fact that women are a major force in the South African retail space, contributing to the growth of the country’s economy, women still face gender bias issues of pink tax, gender wage gap and greater unemployment than their male counterparts. Yet women’s rising spending power is a key factor driving growth in the South African retail and eCommerce sector in the post COVID-19 landscape.

Locally, 71% of South Africa’s 18-million female consumers are responsible for grocery shopping, while 60% are the primary purchaser within their household, making them a powerful force in South Africa’s retail sector.  And by 2028, women will own 75% of the discretionary spend, making them the world’s greatest influencers 다운로드.

However, despite this tremendous buying power, (or perhaps because of it), women consistently pay more than men across many categories of basic necessities, with the additional costs of “pink tax” built into female branded products such as toiletries, grooming products and medical screenings.

“According to a recent Sanlam survey , despite the fact that less women participate in South Africa’s labour force, a recent We Are Social survey suggests SA women already account for 47% of the country’s e-commerce market.  This is set to surge even higher as these socio-economic inclusion issues are addressed on a regulatory level,” says Cassidi Beck, Business Development Manager at Payflex,  a leading buy now pay later online payment gateway that monitors eCommerce consumer trends closely 다운로드.

Cassidi takes a look at how socially responsible businesses can start to impact these issues and earn the trust of this powerful and influential demographic:


  1. Transparency

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency for progressive economic policies to address socio-economic disparities in South Africa.  The gender pay gap is one of the key issues which sees South African women earning between 23 – 35% less than their male counterparts for the same work.  This means women earn 65 – 77 cents for every rand a man earns for the same work.

study conducted earlier this year by the University of Stellenbosch Business School recommends mandatory pay transparency as a solution 문명6 확장팩 다운로드. This would compel employers to remunerate fairly and equally, making gender pay gap differences known to employees, government and the public.

“Retailers who show support of women consumers and social responsibility through inclusion when it comes to their own female staff member will go a long way in earning female consumer trust.  Those retailers choosing to veto the notorious ‘pink tax’ will certainly stand out. As more women wake up to this pricing discrepancy, they will look for retailers who offer interchangeable prices for men’s and women’s items,” says Cassidi ios8.3 beta 3 다운로드.


  1. Tackling gender bias issues

While the latest Global Gender Gap report from WEF, says that it is going to take some 95 years to achieve gender parity in sub-Saharan Africa, other gender based socio-economic issues include the fact that 37.9% of South African households are headed by women and female-headed households are approximately 40% poorer than those headed by men; 48.2% of female-headed households support extended family, compared to just over 20% of male-headed households.

“Actions are powerful.  Focussing on social responsibility by promoting gender equality through job positions and remuneration, retailers can send a strong message of support to women consumers 녹두전 1화. This can serve to create greater awareness around gender issues in general, while helping to enhance customer loyalty of this vital group,” says Cassidi.


  1. Women as influencers

Retailers who are switched on to the economic influence of female audiences are experiencing strong financial results 다운로드. Nike’s $7 billion women’s business is proof of the vast opportunity for retailers who tap into the needs of female consumers.

“The Sanlam Survey shows that women play many roles, balancing careers, family life, childcare and finances 다운로드. Shopping not just for themselves, but for people who live in their households and often extended family and friends, these women are essentially multiple markets in one, presenting a significant opportunity for retailers,” says Cassidi.

“As caregivers, women make purchases for other people. The survey refers to this as a ‘women multiplier effect’, which should not be underestimated 고덕지도. Additionally, even if a woman isn’t buying something herself, she’ll influence the purchasing decision of someone else. This is significant for retailers looking to tap into multiple audiences.  Bridget Brennan, a leading authority on female consumers says retailers need to aim to address a woman’s ‘invisible others’ by understanding who else will be using the product. By doing so, they will overcome hidden barriers to sale,”  says Cassidi.

  1. Addressing financial constraints

While unemployment impacts all South Africans, with the official unemployment rate at 31% as of Q1 this year, women are impacted more severely.  According to StatsSA, the second quarter of 2018 saw the rate of female unemployment at 29,5% compared with 25,3% amongst men 다운로드. Women are also 2.5 times more likely than men to be involved in unpaid care and domestic work, reducing their earning capacity.

Coupled with unanticipated further strains on the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, this means female consumers are under more pressure than ever 다운로드.

Consumers are increasingly adopting more budget conscious behaviour, with 83% wanting more flexibility in payment options like buy now pay later solutions and flexible in-store payment options which avoid further debt,” says Cassidi.

Ongoing upward trajectory

The number of South African women shopping online is expected to climb further as spending power grows.  With 21 million female consumers  expected in the local market by 2025, and with an extra 1.5 million women expected to enter the workforce during this same period, this digital first generation will further impact the ecommerce market.

“One thing remains certain in the retail and eCommerce space and that is, the future is female.  And if you’re a business wanting to remain viable in this environment then authenticity and transparency need to be an integral part of your company’s ethos.

This together with socially responsible actions promoting gender equality can assist in changing the trajectory of gender bias while helping to earn the much-needed trust and loyalty of this valuable demographic of consumers,” concludes Cassidi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *