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JOHANNESBURG - Enduring pay disparities between males and females mean that many women in South Africa are not able to retire comfortably, a report by investment firm 10X Investment shows.

In a report released last week, 10X Investments said 32 percent of female South Africans were uncertain about their retirement plan, while men were almost 10 percent more clear on their long-term investment and savings plan.

Gender pay gaps between men and women have been commonplace for decades in most countries around the world including South Africa, for various socio-economic reasons including the fact that women traditionally take time off from their jobs to take care of families.

The issue has become very topical globally in recent months, as general forms of discrimination against women have taken centre stage.

The 2017 Pulse of the People report run by market research firm Ipsos found that, on average, women in South Africa earned 27 percent less than their male counterparts. The report, which surveyed more than 3,500 employed South Africans across various occupations and regions, found that this gap was even wider among top earners, with men earning as much as 39 percent more than women at a similar level.

“The wage gap may go some way to explaining why so many South African women are not prepared for retirement when the time comes around,” head of retail at 10X Investments, Emma Heap said.

"Providing for retirement, frequently left to male partners in a relationship, is a classic empowerment issue," said Heap. “Not being dependent on someone else for financial planning is very liberating. The same goes for knowing your future is taken care of.”

- African News Agency