Decent work : the promotion of equal treatment and opportunity in the South African workforce with regards to gender
Tafirenyika, Edward T
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Decent work as established by the International Labour Organisation entails productive work for women and men in conditions of freedom, equality, security and human dignity. One of the primary goals of decent work is the establishment of equality within the workplace. Equality is a broad concept that is concerned with fairness. It is within this broad notion of equality that decent work also demands equal treatment and opportunity within the workplace in respect of gender. This is because on a global scale women have been unfairly discriminated against in various ways. In South Africa equality is regulated by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996 and various labour legislation has been enacted in order to promote equality. The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 is one of such pieces of legislation that specifically deals with equality issues within the workplace. However, despite the existence of comprehensive equality legislation, evidence still suggests that women still suffer some forms of gender discrimination. Under scrutiny in this research is the fact that women have been unfairly discriminated against with regards to remuneration and access or promotion to top level management positions in the workplace. With regards to remuneration there exists a gender pay gap because women equally qualified and situated as men are offered less pay compared to men. This is attributed to various factors such as the undervaluing of work performed by women and the fact that women are prone to take career breaks as a result of their reproductive function. Women also face a challenge with regards to access or promotion to top level management positions within the workplace. The challenge, also known as the glass ceiling, entails that men are more likely to have access or promotion to top level management compared to women. This has also been attributed to various factors that include patriarchy within the workplace and social location.
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