58% see improvement in women’s rights

About a fifth of women (21%) still believe that boys have more rights to education than girls and 23% believe that when jobs are scarce, men have more rights to jobs than women.  There is also a significant proportion – 34% of both men and women – that believes women should be kept in their place! Over a fifth of women (22%) believe that their place is in the house – with 27% of men agreeing with this sentiment.

However, 58% of South Africans believe that there has been a great improvement in the area of women’s rights in the last 20 years, with women and men showing the same levels of agreement.

These are some of the prominent findings from a Pulse of the People survey conducted by Ipsos during March and April 2014. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a randomly selected representative sample of 3730 adult South Africans from all walks of life.

Outlook for the future

Just about a third (32%) of women says that satisfaction with their life has improved, whereas 16% say it has deteriorated.  When asked about the future of their children, more than half (53%) of South African women believe that children have a bright future and just less than a third (31%) believe the opposite – that their children have a bleak future in this country.

Looking at the country as a whole, just over a fifth (22%) of South African women is very confident in a happy future for all races in our country. A further 44% are “fairly confident”. When it comes to the direction in which the country is moving, South African women have split opinions on whether it’s going in the right direction (39%) or wrong direction (41%).

Political Interest

As a whole, South African women display a relatively high interest in politics, with 41% saying they are somewhat interested and 23% saying they are very interested in politics. In our recent elections, 53% of the registered voters were women.  Unfortunately well over a third (37%) feels that there is no party that represents their views. Quite a significant portion of South African women – 30% – believe that men make better political leaders than women do (compared to 40% of South African men).

When asked to mention any aspects that were important for government to focus on after the election, the vast majority of women (90%) cited unemployment and job creation. This is followed by poverty (61%) and crime (60%). Still important but less mentioned issues include corruption (52%), infrastructure development (47%) and education (39%). (This was an open-ended question and respondents could mention any aspect and as many issues as they wanted.)

Women and Social Media

Slightly fewer women have access to the internet compared to men (33% compared to 35% of males), however a significantly higher percentage say they have access to social media – 83% of women saying they access it compared to 78% of men.

While women indicate a higher access to Whatsapp, more men report access to a wider platform of social media.


Technical detail:

A total of 3730 personal face-to-face interviews were conducted with randomly selected adult South Africans. The interviews were done in the homes and home languages of respondents.  Trained quantitative fieldworkers from all population groups were responsible for the interviewing, which took place from March – April 2014.  This methodology ensured that the results are representative of the views of the universe and that findings can be weighted and projected to the universe – i.e. adult South Africans (over 15 years of age).

Interviews were done using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and all results were collated and analysed in an aggregate format to protect the identity and confidentiality of respondents.

All sample surveys are subject to a margin of error, determined by sample size, sampling methodology and response rate. The sample error for the sample as a whole at a 95% confidence level is a maximum of 1,67.

There are more women in the South African population than there are men – – 52% of all adult South Africans are female

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,712,4 million (2 274 M$) in 2013.

Visit www.ipsos.co.za to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

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