Labour market trends since the advent of democracy, with a specific focus on gender issues
Timuno, Sayed Obonye Mboki
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The transition of South Africa's political system from an apartheid administration to a democratic rule in 1994 resulted in the end of years of international sanctions imposed on the country. This move placed the country back on the global trading market. In addition, improvements in living conditions, education attainment, and labour market outcomes of societal groups who were previously disadvantaged by the apartheid administration were expected. Looking at the labour market in greater detail, government devised policies aimed at addressing, amongst others, the racial and gender inequalities in job access and remuneration as well as improving the employment conditions. Despite these attempts, women have been known to be subjected to different kinds of discrimination. As a result, they have been segregated, and in most case were over-represented in low income, less secure employment as well as over-represented in the unemployed pool of the labour force. Numerous South African studies in the past only derived the “trends” labour market activities by gender since the transition by comparing the 1995 October Household Survey (OHS) with the latest available Labour Force Survey (LFS), without taking into consideration the comparability issues of the datasets. Hence, this thesis uses all the South African labour survey data in 1995-2009 to investigate the trends in the performance of each gender in the labour market since the transition, specifically looking at the following: labour force participation likelihood, employment likelihood, remuneration and working conditions of the employed, characteristics of the unemployed, as well as whether gender discrimination in the labour market (with specific focus on employment probability gap and wage gap) still exists since the advent of democracy.