Profiling South African gender inequality in informal self-employment
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South Africa is a nation with high unemployment, and informal self-employment can offer an escape from poverty. For this reason, many South African women are currently self-employed. Men also enter the informal sector and though in the minority, they tend
to earn more than women. The aim of this paper was to construct a profile of gender differences in South African informal self-employment using the 2005 Labour Force Survey and the 2005 Survey of Employers and Self-Employed. The results of our study
reveal that along with distinct earning differences, female informal enterprise owners have different characteristics from their male counterparts. In order to improve the earnings potential of such owners, this paper outlines a series of interventions voiced by
the women themselves that offer the potential of improving the earnings.
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