An Exploratory Study on Women and Gender Equality in South African Agricultural Careers
South Africa, 23 July 2020 – SIZA, in cooperation with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, is excited to announce the launch of a project specifically aimed at gathering more insight into the representation and treatment of women within the South African agricultural industry, with a strong focus on careers. The focus on gender equality and dignity of all people is becoming ever greater across the globe and people and businesses alike are realizing the value behind dignified treatment of all employees.
The project was initiated as an exploratory study aimed at gaining an understanding of the number of females actively involved in various career positions within the South African agricultural industry. This is largely due to export markets requiring more information from their suppliers on gender representation within businesses. The study includes a quantitative research component as well as a qualitative component. An independent researcher was contracted to collect data from credible and academic sources and included the findings gathered from a survey distributed to various industries and organisations across South Africa. After the initial data collection, interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders within various industries to allow for more insight into female representation. The data has been compiled in a research paper and the interviews are available to view in a documentary You Tube video. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the majority of the interviews were done via virtual platforms.
The primary objective of this study is to determine how many women are employed in this industry, how they experience the working environment as women, what some of the challenges are, what barriers are faced by women in the industry, and how they are represented. The study elaborates on what responsibilities fall onto men and how organizational assistance can contribute to the future of all those within agriculture. Furthermore, to allow for effective and practical support, the secondary objectives are to ascertain whether women are treated with dignity at all levels of the industry and to identify barriers which hinder gender equality in agriculture.
This research study is prepared to allow all stakeholders in the value chain a glimpse into how women are represented and treated in South African agriculture, the extent to which women have been liberated, and to identify areas of improvement. SIZA also would like to identify the limitations so that support can be created to ensure that women are well represented in Agriculture in the years to come.
Women have an important role to play in the future of agriculture worldwide. Although the role of women in agriculture enjoys more recognition than a few years ago, much more can be done to support women in the industry. SIZA is excited to launch this project and provide a better look at females within our industry. It is ultimately not only about women, but about the wider industry and society at large and how roles are going to change once more women entered the workplace.
- To view the research paper, visit: https://siza.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Women-in-Agriculture-Research-Report-2020-Print-version.pdf
- To access the videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLo9T0F31nAPmIIew1eCHI7QfRbCv8dVwT