News & events


Employment and Poverty in South Africa: a gendered analysis

03 May 2018
12:30 - 13:30

Presenters: Dr Chijioke O. Nwosu & Dr Catherine Ndinda, Human Sciences Research Council

Chair: Dr. Admire Nyamwanza, Human Sciences Research Council

Date: 3 May 2018   

Time: 12:30 – 13:30 

Venues: Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

Female household headship is generally associated with higher poverty incidence relative to male headship. Female headship has generally been on the increase in South Africa. And while generally declining over the post-apartheid period, poverty has increased in the recent past.  South Africa also has high unemployment rates. However, there is scant evidence on the role of employment in mediating the relationship between female headship and poverty in South Africa. Using South Africa’s National Income Dynamics Study dataset, we find that female headship is positively associated with complete household non-employment, while the latter is positively associated with poverty.

However, female-headed households (FHHs) are heterogeneous in nature, and the importance of employment in eradicating the poverty differential between FHHs and male-headed households (MHHs) depends on employment-related household structure. While employment generally eradicates the poverty differential between FHHs and MHHs, FHHs where only women are employed are very vulnerable to poverty

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact : Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town. Contact : Carmen Erasmus, Tel: (021) 466 7827, e-mail:

Durban: The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001. Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel: (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786, e-mail:

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DST

Kindly note that seminars can now be accessed via the Vidyo link:
Social science that makes a difference